Worker Loses Hand in Shear Machine, Firm Fined $74,900

OSHA initiated an inspection on Aug. 16, 2011, upon receiving a complaint that alleged a malfunctioning safety pin on the hydraulic shear machine had resulted in the amputation of a worker's hand on July 27.

OSHA has cited Polymerics with four safety violations, including a willful violation for failing to ensure that a rubber-cutting shear was kept in good working order, after a worker suffered an amputation at the company's Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, rubber manufacturing facility. Proposed fines from the latest inspection total $74,900.

OSHA initiated an inspection on Aug. 16, 2011, upon receiving a complaint that alleged a malfunctioning safety pin on the hydraulic shear machine had resulted in the amputation of a worker's hand on July 27.

"Failing to ensure that safety mechanisms on hazardous machines are working properly demonstrates a lack of regard for employees' safety and health," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

Additionally, one repeat violation was issued for failing to conduct an annual review of lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy. The same violation was cited at the facility in 2008.

Two serious violations involve failing to train employees on hazardous chemicals as well as develop, implement, and train workers in machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures while servicing or conducting maintenance.

Polymerics Inc. employs approximately 56 people at its facilities in Cuyahoga Falls and Kent, Ohio. Prior to this inspection, OSHA had inspected the company six times since 1983.

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