Scalped Employee Leads to $91,000 Penalty for Die Cast Metal Facility

OSHA has cited Ohio Decorative Products, a die cast metal products manufacturer in Spencerville, Ohio, with $91,000 in proposed penalties for workplace safety violations.

The agency opened an inspection in December 2009 after receiving a report that a worker was scalped when his hair was entangled in an unprotected rotating shaft on a piece of equipment. As a result of the inspection, the employer received one willful, one serious, and one repeat citation for failing to provide proper machine guarding on equipment.

"Having proper machine guarding on equipment can prevent these needless injuries to workers," said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi in Toledo, Ohio. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their employees, and OSHA will do all it legally can to ensure the company complies with the regulations."

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. OSHA issues repeat violations when it finds a substantially similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states after violations have been cited at another facility. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

The agency said it has inspected Ohio Decorative Products 12 previous times resulting in 77 violations. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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