An Ohio auto parts manufacturer is facing its 10th OSHA investigation in nine years after a 22-year-old worker suffered partial amputations of two fingers on his left hand. OSHA’s investigation found the manufacturer had failed to provide safeguards for moving parts. Several workers have suffered similar injuries.
OSHA investigators discovered that workers had bypassed safety devices to conduct maintenance on machinery. Management did not tell these workers the actions were unsafe. Unsurprisingly, OSHA investigators also discovered the company had not trained workers on lockout/tagout procedures. Workers shut down machines so they cannot start up again until maintenance is finished.
OSHA fined the company $536,249 for three willful egregious, one willful and three serious violations. The company is also on OSHA’s SVEP program. We covered how companies are put into SVEP on last week’s blog.
Ignoring Lockout/Tagout Procedures Causes Amputation Injuries
There is an average of 29 workplace amputation injuries in the US every day. Machines with rotating, shearing or cutting parts create the most risks.
Many of these injuries occur because employers ignore lockout/tagout procedures or neglect to train workers. Employers are required by federal law to follow these procedures. Workers should be trained on these procedures, and employers should provide physical or light guards to power down machinery.
Options may exist in addition to workers compensation when workers suffer amputation injuries. One of these options may be a violation of specific safety requirement claim. If the machinery that caused the injury is defective, a third party lawsuit might be possible.
The Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC can help injured workers discover options for recovering from accidents.