The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued three citations to an employer for multiple safety violations, leading to penalties totaling $172,000, following two separate work-related amputations and one severe employee injury. Schwan’s Global Supply Chain Inc., a subsidiary of The Schwan Food Company, was cited for failing to guard conveyers. In the first case, the company failed to guard a conveyor chain and sprocket drive assembly, leading to the amputation of the employee’s right hand. The second case resulted in an employee’s severe injury due to the failure to guard operating parts between top and bottom conveyors. In the third case, the amputation was caused when an employee came in contact with an unguarded chain and sprocket on the underside of a conveyor. In all three cases, the company had failed to put up necessary protective guarding, violating OSHA safety regulations.
Tips: As we recently reported, OSHA updated its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on amputations. As a result of the NEP initiative, investigators have started to conduct inspections focusing on workplace safety hazards associated with unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery and equipment. OSHA and state safety and health agencies have also begun requiring employers to report amputations and other severe work-related injuries. Make sure you adequately guard machinery and equipment and follow – and understand – all safety regulations.
If you have questions, talk to your Vigilant safety professional to learn more about your state-specific requirements. As a part of our safety services, your Vigilant safety professional will work with you to evaluate the necessary guards for your machinery and equipment, and can conduct workplace safety assessments, identifying any hazards that could lead to workplace injuries, accidents, or fatalities—in addition to costly OSHA violations and penalties. For reporting requirements, see our Legal Guide, “Catastrophe/Fatality Notification Procedure.”