Machine Safety Guards Might Have Prevented Severing Of Worker's Arm

A machine that sizes and cuts rubber hose severed a 52-year-old woman’s right arm just nine days after she starting a new job in Kennett as a machine operator at Parker Hannifin Corporation.

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KENNETT, MO. ‒ A machine that sizes and cuts rubber hose severed a 52-year-old woman’s right arm just nine days after she starting a new job in Kennett as a machine operator at Parker Hannifin Corporation, a global manufacturer in the mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. After an investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the machine lacked adequate safety guards to prevent the horrific injury.

On March 24, the agency issued one repeated, and one serious safety violation to Parker Hannifin Corporation after the Dec. 23, 2015, incident. In 2013, OSHA cited the company for similar machine hazards at its Kennett facility.

“Imagine the terror this worker felt as her arm was pulled into the operating parts of this powerful machine and cut severely,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Exposing workers to such hazards is inexcusable. In 2013, OSHA provided safety intervention at Parker Hannifin after a machine lacking guards caused another employee to suffer an amputation. The company needs to take immediate action to protect workers from machine hazards at its facility.”  

In addition to inadequate safety guards on numerous machines, investigators found Parker Hannifin workers exposed to trips and falls because floor openings were unguarded.

The agency has proposed penalties of $44,000. View current citations here.

Since Jan. 1, 2015, OSHA requires employers to report any severe work-related injury – defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye – within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force. In the first full year of the program, employers reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. In Missouri, 88 workers suffered amputation injuries in 2015. 

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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