Employer’s Lack of Machine Guarding Injures Two Employees
After receiving reports that two employees had been injured in separate events, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the workplace conditions at Burrows Paper Corp.
The first employee was struck by a trolley car in February 2014, resulting in a serious leg injury. The second employee’s hand was caught in the chain and sprockets of a packaging machine the following month, causing her to break a finger. Both were hospitalized and missed work, costing the company time and money.
OSHA inspectors determined that a lack of proper machine guarding caused the first man’s injuries. Machine guards protect workers from the moving parts of machinery, which can cause laceration, crushing and amputation injuries.
The second worker was injured because the company failed to implement lockout/tagout procedures. Lockout/tagout procedures require workers to remove any machinery undergoing maintenance or repair from its power source, and clearly label it as non-functioning.
Malfunctioning equipment can start without warning, and workers can get burned, shocked or otherwise seriously injured. OSHA frequently issues citations for machine guarding and lockout/tagout violations, but it is because workers could sustain life-altering injuries from poorly guarded equipment.
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