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After Worker’s Amputation, Ohio Manufacturer Faces $500,000 In Fines

An Ohio auto insulation manufacturer faces more than $500,000 in penalties after a machine amputated a worker’s right hand, wrist and part of his forearm.

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An Ohio auto insulation manufacturer faces more than $500,000 in penalties after a machine amputated a worker’s right hand, wrist and part of his forearm.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an investigation of Autoneum North America’s suburban Toledo, OH facility resulted in the agency issuing three willful and two repeated violation of machine safety procedures.

On Dec. 23, 2016, a 46-year-old employee was guiding waste materials into a shredding machine when his arm was caught in a circular drum that shreds fabric fibers for reuse, causing the injury. OSHA investigators found the company failed to equip the machine with adequate safety guards.

"This incident illustrates why companies must evaluate machine safety procedures to ensure they are adequate and effective in protecting workers from injuries on the job," said Dorothy Dougherty, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "In addition to being the law and the right thing to do, safe workplaces are an important component in supporting and sustaining job growth in America."

OSHA issued citations for: inadequate machine and point of operation guarding, failing to properly train workers on machine specific procedures for isolating energy sources, no "locking out" equipment to prevent unintentional energization and exposing workers to struck-by hazards from machine components.

Automotive parts supplier Autoneum North America, based in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Swiss-based Autoneum. The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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