OSHA Concludes Investigation into Household Cleaning Manufacturer After Worker Amputation
Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Tufco LP faces $194,518 in proposed penalties.
- By Robert Yaniz Jr.
- Feb 13, 2024
OSHA has cited Tufco LP—a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of household cleaning products—for serious safety violations following a worker’s amputation.
According to a release dated Feb. 9, the August 2023 incident resulted in an employee’s loss of a fingertip while they were attempting to clear a pump’s outfeed. This machinery is part of the process used to produce scented laundry beads. The ensuing OSHA investigation found this equipment was not locked out or shut down during maintenance.
The agency found that Tufco LP lacked necessary lockout/tagout procedures as well as machine guarding to prevent such accidents, had not adequately retrained employees reassigned to new production areas and lacked a respiratory protection program. As a result, the company is now facing $194,518 in proposed penalties.
“Tufco LP expanded their capabilities with new products and machines but failed to assess and mitigate potential hazards prior to allowing employees to run the new product lines,” OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton, Wisconsin, said in a statement. “Each year, hundreds of workers suffer injuries because their employers expose them to machine operating parts and fail to train them in safety procedures. Employers should make the health and safety of workers a core value in their workplaces.”
Notably, Tufco LP was previously cited in 2019 and 2021 for similar safety oversights, including inadequate machine guarding and safety procedures. The company now has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the agency’s findings.
Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.