Ignored Safety Rules Lead to Serious Arm Injuries: OSHA

Kemper Valve & Fittings faces $71,000 in proposed fines.

OSHA announced it has determined that Kemper Valve & Fittings Corp. bypassed safety devices to allow a computer-controlled machine to operate when the guard door was open, leading to an employee, a 32-year-old machinist, suffering serious injuries to his left arm when his hand was caught and pulled into the machine.

The agency identified one willful and one other-than-serious safety violation and has proposed penalties of $71,000 for them at the company's Island Lake, Ill., facility.

"Kemper Valve & Fittings decided to bypass safety devices and put employees at risk for severe injuries. For this worker, that willful choice resulted in a life-altering injury," said Angeline Loftus, area director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines. "Employees pay the painful price when companies don't follow safety standards. Each year about 3 million workers in America are injured on the job, which affects their ability to provide for themselves and their families."

The company was issued a willful violation for ignoring basic machine safety rules and one other-than-serious violation for failing to create an annual injury and illness summary for each of its separate operating locations.

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