San Antonio Printing Company Pounded for Amputation, Fall Hazards

OSHA has cited Litho Press Inc. with 19 alleged serious violations at the company's worksite in San Antonio, including leaving workers vulnerable to amputations from improper machine guarding. Proposed penalties total of $53,550.

"Employers must properly apply OSHA's standards for machine guarding techniques and adequately control associated energy hazards to avoid amputations," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in the San Antonio office. "In this case, it is fortunate that no one was injured."

OSHA began an inspection on Oct. 6 under its National Emphasis Program on Amputations at the company's facility on Milling Road, where workers manufacture books, magazines, directories, and brochures. Violations include inadequate machine guarding (including for belts, pulleys, and horizontal shafts) and a lack of specific procedures to control hazardous energy while workers conducted cleaning and servicing operations on printing equipment. The NEP on amputations is a program designed to more effectively reduce amputation injuries by properly applying machine guarding techniques and adequately controlling associated energy hazards.

Additionally, employees were exposed to falling nearly 9 feet due to a 16-inch gap in a guardrail system on an elevated working surface. Other violations include failing to provide guardrails on elevated working areas to protect employees from falls; ensure electrical deficiencies were repaired and maintained; and provide training on the use of hazardous chemicals and methods to control hazardous energy.

A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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