CHICAGO — For the third time since the summer of 2015, a worker with a metal container manufacturer has suffered an amputation injury. In each incident, federal safety investigators found that, if the employer had complied with workplace safety standards, the injuries were preventable.
On Dec. 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued B-Way Corp. one repeated and one serious safety violation, carrying proposed penalties of $81,062, following its investigation of the most recent injury. On Sept. 10, 2016, a machine amputated a 52-year-old temporary worker’s right middle finger tip when it came in contact with the machine’s operating parts — as he cleared a jam.
Agency investigators determined the employer installed the machine’s safety guards improperly. They also found the company did not instruct workers properly in procedures to prevent machine movement during service and maintenance, a process known as lockout/tag out.
“Each year, manufacturing workers suffer hundreds of preventable injuries because employers fail to install safety guards properly and train workers in machine safety procedures,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in Calumet City. “BWay Corp. needs to review its machines’ operations corporate-wide immediately to ensure they have adequate and properly installed safety guards. They must also be sure that workers are using lockout/tag out procedures to prevent them from coming in contact with operating parts.”
Federal investigators determined the most recent injury occurred on the same type of machine on which a 65-year-old employee suffered an amputation injury August 2015. In that case, the worker lost the tip of her right middle finger when it was caught in a stacker plate on machine. In October 2015, a 56-year old-employee suffered the loss of the tip of his right index finger when cleaning a chuck on a machine at the facility.
Based in Atlanta, B-Way Corp. specializes in the production of metal and plastic containers for product packaging has 28 facilities in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. 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.