OSHA Fines East Central Machine & Tool Co. Nearly $120,000 Following Accident

OSHA has cited East Central Machine & Tool Co., St. Clair, Mo., for alleged safety and health violations and proposed $117,900 in penalties following an investigation into an accident where an employee lost two fingers in a mechanical power press. The inspection found one alleged willful and 11 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

"This worker's life will be forever changed. There is no excuse for this accident," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment for their workers to prevent accidents like this from occurring."

The willful violation stems from the company's failure to ensure the mechanical power press had an operational means for selecting various speed settings, an inoperable secondary action button for selecting the continuous cycle setting, and lack of point-of-operation guarding. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The serious violations relate to the lack of a hearing conservation program, personal protective equipment hazard assessment, and energy control program; competency of powered industrial truck operators; lack of machine guarding; misuse of hand tools in mechanical power presses; lack of die setting procedures, use of safety blocks, and safety instruction signs; lack of mechanical power press inspections; competency of those maintaining mechanical power presses; and an electrical wiring deficiency. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

East Central Machine & Tool Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in St. Louis, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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