Workers' Finger Amputations Lead to Truck Maker's $90K Fine

A worker had several fingers amputated while operating an unguarded press break March 19 at the company’s Wooster, Ohio, plant. A second amputation injury occurred April 19 at the plant.

OSHA has cited truck manufacturer Stahl/Scott Fetzer Co. for six safety violations—including one willful—after a worker had several fingers amputated while operating an unguarded press break March 19 at the company’s Wooster, Ohio, plant. After OSHA had initiated an inspection, a second amputation injury occurred April 19 at the plant. Proposed penalties total $90,000.

"Manufacturing companies are responsible for knowing and following recognized standards regarding the use of potentially dangerous machinery in their factories and ensuring that all proper precautions are taken to prevent workers from being injured," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."

One willful violation involves failing to ensure that the points of operation are guarded on the two press brakes, which are used to bend sheet metal. Both workers were injured while using the unguarded press brakes.

Five serious safety violations include failing to develop machine-specific "lockout/tagout" procedures as well as provide training for employees in the use of a portable fire extinguisher, the operation of powered industrial trucks, and first aid. Additionally, the company failed to develop a bloodborne pathogen program and conduct monthly and annual crane inspections.

Stahl/Scott Fetzer Co. is headquartered in Wooster, where 94 workers are employed. The company employs about 200,000 workers throughout the United States and Canada. The company has been inspected five times previously, resulting in the issuance of six serious and 43 other-than-serious violations.

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