OSHA Cites Packaging Company in Amputation Case

Industrial Packaging Corp. has been cited for one willful and eight serious violations.

OSHA's enforcement action against Industrial Packaging Corporation stems from an incident that led to the amputation of three fingertips of a 23-year-old worker -- a preventable injury if only the employer had trained workers at the Arcadia, Wis., facility in proper safety procedures to prevent the chopping blade from operating while clearing a jam, according to the agency.

OSHA has cited the company for one willful and eight serious safety violations, finding hat energy sources to the chopping blade were not isolated, allowing it to cycle as the employee was attempting to clear a jam. The agency has proposed $118,000 in penalties in the case.

"Training workers and using blocking and locking devices, as required by OSHA standards, would have prevented this young man's hands from coming in contact with the operating parts of the machine," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire. "Workers should never reach inside the danger zone of a machine without de-energizing it and using lockout/tag out procedures to prevent a sudden startup."

OSHA reported it also found Industrial Packing Corporation failed to train workers on the wear and use of cut resistant gloves; to place chopper and notcher blades in safe positions during set-up and maintenance; to review energy control procedures with employees at least annually; or to install adequate machine guarding on blades, sprocket wheels, chains, and horizontal shafts.

Amputation hazards are among the most frequently cited OSHA violations, according to the agency.

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