Company Cited After Worker's Hand Injected with Fluid during Machine Maintenance

OSHA has cited Apache Mills Inc. for nine safety violations.

OSHA announced an enforcement action after a maintenance technician had his left hand injected with fluid from a leaking hydraulic line on a press as he performed maintenance on the machine at Apache Mills Inc. in Calhoun, Ga. The employee was hospitalized and the incident required a surgical shunt to drain fluid and reduce swelling, according to OSHA's release.

OSHA cited the company for nine safety violations, including hazards related to electrical practices and exposed machinery parts. Serious citations were issued for inadequate worker training on safe electrical practices; exposing workers to electric shock and arc flash; not providing personal protective equipment to safeguard workers from electric arc or flash burns; failing to load test lifting devices; not ensuring proper guarding of machinery, such as rotating shafts, conveyor belts, and rollers; and exposing workers to falls from conveyors. Proposed penalties total $51,000.

"An employee had his hand punctured needlessly at Apache Mills, so its management must ensure an improved culture of safety," said Christi Griffin, director of the OSHA Atlanta-West Area Office. "Exposing employees to hazards puts them at risk of serious physical harm or death."

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