Baldwin, IL (WorkersCompensation.com) - A 46-year-old worker suffered the amputation of four fingers on his right hand when a feed machine cycled as he reached inside an access door to assist another employee with maintenance. Federal safety inspectors found his employer, Dynegy Midwest Generation LLC, failed to power down the machinery prior to employees servicing the machine.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one willful and seven serious citations to the Baldwin electrical power generation plant on June 9, after its investigation of the Dec. 7, 2015, injury. OSHA has proposed penalties of $92,000. During the investigation, OSHA found that multi-finger amputations also occurred on this same machine in August 2011 and October 2012.
“Employees should never reach into operating machines to conduct service or maintenance. This was a preventable incident that has severely impacted this employee's life and ability to earn a living,” said Aaron Priddy, area director of OSHA's Fairview Heights office. “OSHA's revised guidelines for the reporting of amputation injuries have led to greater intervention to improve safety. This company needs to take immediate action to fix safety issues at its facilities to protect employees from additional injuries.”
Since Jan. 1, 2015, OSHA requires all employers to report any severe work-related injury - defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye - within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force. In the first full year of the program, Illinois employers reported 173 amputations. Amputation hazards remain among the most frequently cited OSHA violations.
Based in Houston, Texas, Dynegy is capable of supplying 21 million homes with safe, reliable and economic energy in Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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.