BELLEFONTAINE, OH – Less than a year after federal inspectors cited an Ohio rubber-hose manufacturer for 11 machine safety violations, the company now faces an additional $70,000 in fines after safety lapses led a 27-year-old male worker to suffer severe injuries at its Bellefontaine plant.
Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigating the Feb. 16, 2016, injury at HBD/Thermoid Inc. found an improperly guarded drive belt caught the worker’s left arm and caused lacerations and fractures. The agency issued one willful citation to the company on June 9.
“HBD/Thermoid is a repeat violator that continues to put workers at risk of amputations and serious injuries by ignoring safety rules for industrial machines used by workers who manufacturer rubber hoses at the company’s six facilities across the country,” said Kim Nelson, area director of OSHA’s Toledo office. “The company needs to take immediate action and fix these safety issues at its facilities. Employees and their families pay the painful price when companies don’t follow standards to reduce injuries.”
In May 2015, OSHA cited the Bellefontaine facility, for one willful and 10 serious safety violations and levied penalties of $134,000. The agency initiated the 2015 inspection after receiving a referral from the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Division after an employee died after being caught in an industrial machine at the company’s Salisbury facility.
View the current citations here.
HBD/Thermoid employs about 1,000 workers corporatewide and manufactures hoses used in a variety of industries, such as transportation, food processing and agriculture. The company also has facilities in Bell Gardens, California; Chanute, Kansas; Salisbury, North Carolina; Oneida, Tennessee; and Eglin, South Carolina.
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.