MANSFIELD, Ohio — The absence of adequate machine safe guards led to an amputation and other machine-related injuries at a Mansfield manufacturer of parts used by automobile, motorcycle and appliance brands. One of these injuries involved a 22-year-old temporary employee who suffered the partial amputation of two fingers on his left hand on his first day of work.
On Oct. 21, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed penalties of $536,249 to Milark Industries Inc. for three willful egregious, one willful, and three serious violations of safety standards stemming from multiple investigations of injuries as well as complaints received alleging unsafe working conditions. The agency has placed Milark in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“Milark Industries continues to create an environment where employees are allowed to bypass machine safety procedures, and are threatened to be disciplined if they don’t meet the production quotas. By doing so, the company is creating an unacceptable culture of risk and getting people hurt on the job,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo.
In May 2016, OSHA opened a complaint investigation at the company. A review of injury logs revealed that an employee received a laceration injury on April 22, 2016.
OSHA’s May and June investigations cite the company for hazards at both its Baird Parkway and Rupp Road facilities in Mansfield. OSHA found the company:
- Failed to lock-out robotic welding cells and tube bender
- Bypassed safety interlocks in order to maintain the production rate
- Bypassed safety devices while conducting maintenance activities
- Failed to train workers in procedures to prevent unintentional machinery operation during service and maintenance, a process known as lockout/tagout
Milark has been the subject of other recent OSHA inspection activity. In September 2015, a 20-year-old worker suffered a serious injury and in July 2015, a machine amputated three fingers and part of a fourth from the right hand of a 19-year-old worker. The company contested OSHA citations issued in both those cases. A December 2016 court date has been set before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. In all, OSHA has inspected the company 10 times since 2007.
The company’s worker’s compensation carrier is Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
Based in Mansfield, Milark Industries is a privately owned company, employing more than 150 workers, and specializing in metal stampings, tube bending, welded parts and sub-assemblies. 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.