Foot Injury Results in Citations

The Pennsylvania company notified OSHA last August that an employee suffered a double toe amputation when he lost control of a lawn mower he was operating on a wet, grassy slope; this happened less than three months after OSHA investigated another rollover incident in which an employee sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized, according to the agency.

OSHA announced it cited SNS Lawn & Landscape Services Inc., doing business as The Ground Guys, of Lancaster, Pa., on Jan. 29, for two willful, five serious, and one other-than-serious safety and health violations. The company notified OSHA last August that an employee suffered a double toe amputation when he lost control of a lawn mower he was operating on a wet, grassy slope; this happened less than three months after OSHA investigated another rollover incident in which an employee sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized, according to the agency.

OSHA has issued $42,000 in proposed penalties after its inspectors determined the company failed to ensure workers were using a rollover protective system and seat belts when operating the zero-turn mower. This brought the willful citation. Serious citations were issued because the company failed to use the proper guards on the mower and because of chemical hazards and the lack of a hazard communication program. The company was also cited for failing to prepare a written workplace hazard assessment.

"This amputation and the incident that preceded it could have been prevented if The Ground Guys had only used the mower's protective system," said Kevin Kulp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Office. "By ignoring this vital safeguard, the company is taking unnecessary risks with the safety of its employees, which is unacceptable."

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