Ohio Company Exposes Workers to Amputation Hazards


Bucyrus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hebco Products Inc. in Bucyrus with 14 safety violations, including two repeat violations for failing to guard machines to prevent amputation injuries as well as document and use machine-specific procedures to prevent the unexpected start up of equipment. Proposed penalties total $95,700.

"Employers such as Hebco that are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to worker safety and health," said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Employers are responsible for establishing a safe environment for their workers and knowing the hazards that exist in their workplaces. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."

OSHA initiated an inspection under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets industries with the highest rates of workplace injuries and illnesses. Establishments are randomly selected for inspection from a primary list of 3,700 manufacturing, nonmanufacturing, and nursing and personal care facilities.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2007.

Twelve serious safety violations involve failing to provide personal protective equipment for workers handling sulfuric acid, conduct annual periodic inspections of energy control procedures, ensure that workers are trained and understand the purpose / function of the energy control program, provide a load backrest extension to minimize the possibility of falling loads and provide proper machine guards on bench grinders. Additionally, multiple violations involving confined spaces have been cited, including failing to inform workers of hazards by posting danger signs in permit-required spaces, implement measures necessary to prevent unauthorized entry, document completion of entry permits, and provide training for the safe performance of duties in permit-required confined spaces. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Hebco Products Inc., which manufactures screw machine parts, employs about 22 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties 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.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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