Columbus Castings received almost $90,000 in health and safety citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), after one of its employees was seriously injured in a workplace accident.
In April 2014, the victim suffered a broken back, a collapsed lung and partial paralysis of his left leg after being pinned in one of the foundry’s machines. OSHA’s area director in Columbus described the injuries as “life-altering.”
The Ohio steel foundry produces castings used in the automotive, mining, construction and rail industries. According to OSHA, the facility has a long history of exposing its employees to serious workplace dangers.
OSHA inspectors determined that Columbus Castings failed to use lockout procedures when employees performed maintenance. Workers could get cut, burned or crushed by malfunctioning machinery if they do not remove the machine from a power source and tag it as nonfunctioning.
The company also failed to install adequate machine guarding, another important safeguard for workers. Exposed machinery or moving parts could catch onto a workers clothes and pull them into the machine.
The violations cost Columbus Castings $89,500. When you factor in the cost of the employee’s wages, medical bills and lost productivity, you realize that the steel foundry will pay dearly for its oversight.
Good managers know that even one worker injury can cost thousands of dollars. It is much safer and simpler to address workplace hazards before they cause an accident, but some employers still choose to cut corners.
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