Bypassed Safety Guards Led To Employee Injury

A Wisconsin manufacturer bypassed safety guards, leading to an employee injury, according to OSHA investigators.

Mnet 173847 Safety 1

A Wisconsin manufacturer bypassed safety guards, leading to an employee injury, according to investigators.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Wisconsin-based KG Marketing and Bag Co., a manufacturer of commercial use plastic bags, for one willful violation of OSHA’s machine-guarding standard and one other-than-serious violation to report an amputation within the required 24-hours.

According to the release, the OSHA investigation began in May after a worker suffered a partial amputation of his right index finger on April 22. The employee was clearing a jam on a bag-sealer machine when the injury occurred.

Inspectors found the machine’s safety guards were disabled. The light curtains — installed by the manufacturer — prevent workers from coming into contact with the machine blades and other moving parts.

OSHA has proposed $78,325 in penalties.

"Each year hundreds of workers are injured because employers disable or bypass machine guards to maintain production," said Christine Zortman, area director of OSHA's Milwaukee office. "Injuries, like the one suffered by this worker, are preventable by following OSHA and manufacturer safety procedures, training workers to recognize hazards and maintaining adequate machine guarding."

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