Worker Loses Thumb in Machine, Forging Firm Fined $75,200

The worker's thumb was amputated on Sept. 22 when a forging machine foot pedal, which was not adequately guarded, operated unintentionally.

OSHA has cited Kishwaukee Forge Co. in Courtland, Ill., with eight safety violations—including two willful—after a worker's thumb was amputated on Sept. 22 when a forging machine foot pedal, which was not adequately guarded, operated unintentionally. Proposed penalties total $75,200.

"Kishwaukee Forge has the responsibility of ensuring that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as unguarded machinery," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in North Aurora. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

The willful violations involve failing to schedule and record inspections of guards and point-of-operation protection devices at frequent and regular intervals for forging machines, and to protect the foot-operated devices of forging machines from unintended operation.

Five serious violations involve failing to establish periodic and regular maintenance safety checks for forging machines, train workers in the proper maintenance and inspection of forging machinery and equipment, and provide scale guards of sufficient size or dimension at the backs of forging hammers and presses to hold them in place.

One other-than-serious violation is failing to properly fill out an OSHA 301 form detailing a workplace injury.

Kishwaukee Forge specializes in manufacturing steel, alloy, and stainless forgings.

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