Worker Amputations Lead to $45,200 in Fines for Metal Recycler

The company, which processes scrap metal for recycling, has received 13 serious and two other-than-serious citations.

OSHA has issued 16 safety and health citations against Union Metal Trading Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., after one worker suffered the amputation of three fingers and another worker had the tip of his finger amputated while working at the plant. Proposed penalties for the citations total $45,200.

A willful citation was issued for allowing workers to operate machinery with a broken guard that was designed to keep operators from being exposed to amputation injuries.

The company, which processes scrap metal for recycling, has received 13 serious citations for failing to train employees on machinery hazards and safety procedures; exposing employees to tripping hazards; failing to clearly mark exits; storing propane tanks where they could be damaged by vehicle traffic; allowing employees to handle corrosive chemicals without providing an eye flushing station; allowing untrained employees to operate a damaged forklift truck; exposing employees to electrical hazards; and allowing employees in a number of instances to work without wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves and helmets.

OSHA has issued two other-than-serious citations for the company's failure to supply a written hazard communication program or training on hazardous chemicals, and to provide safety instruction signs near machinery.

"Exposing workers to amputation hazards is unacceptable to OSHA and must be unacceptable to employers, as well," said Jeff Romeo, OSHA area director in Jacksonville. "No employee should have to risk serious injury or death for a paycheck."

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