Machine Guards May Have Prevented Arm Amputation

Griffin Lumber & Hardware received a willful violation from OSHA, which said the company ignored hazards.

An OSHA investigation found that workers at Griffin Lumber & Hardware risked amputations and the dangers associated with unguarded sprocket wheels and chains on a conveyer belt. This lack of safety preparation led to the amputation of a worker's arm when his jacket was caught in the drive shaft of a conveyer belt at the Cordele, Ga.-based business.

The worker was employed by Labor Finders, a staffing agency that provides Griffin Lumber with temporary workers, according to OSHA, which concluded its inspection with the agency issuing no citations to the staffing company.

Griffin Lumber received a willful violation for failing to ensure workers were protected from an unguarded sprocket and chain. Roughly 74 full-time and temporary workers who work on site were exposed to serious injury or death due to this violation, says OSHA.

"Griffin management admitted to inspectors that the unguarded parts had been that way for a long time," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's area director in Savannah. "This terrible incident proves the company can no longer ignore worker safety and must address all safety hazards immediately."

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