One employee suffered an amputation, and another was seriously injured, after a global filtration manufacturer failed to protect workers from safety and health hazards.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began investigating PECOFacet on May 3 after an employee suffered a finger amputation in April when a part of a metal plate being fabricated fell on their finger while the worker was still in training.
Three days after OSHA began its investigation, a 1,300-pound metal product being fabricated fell on another employee’s feet causing serious injuries.
"No worker should suffer amputation or be struck-by product at a large manufacturer such as PECOFacet. The number of violations at this facility is astounding," said Jack Rector, OSHA's Fort Worth Area Director. "This employer is responsible for the protection and safety of its workers from these types of life-altering injuries."
During its investigation, OSHA found workers at the Mineral Wells, Texas facility operated machinery without point of operation and safety guards and emergency stop switches. In addition, inspectors found 21 violations for: allowing equipment to operate without safety latches; permitting the use of non-compliant crane equipment; failing to address electrical hazards; not having guard rails on elevated surfaces; failing to mark emergency exits; ladders not meeting specification requirements and not maintained; lock out/tag out procedures not developed or implemented; and horizontal belts and shafts not guarded.
Headquartered in Mineral Wells, PECOFacet manufactures filter housings, filter cartridges, water separator systems, sewage water treatments and has on-site testing facilities.
OSHA has proposed $224,477 in fines. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.