OSHA Cites Ill. Company Following Amputations Resulting from Unguarded Machinery

May 19, 2005

A St. Charles, Illinois, aluminum die casting foundry’s reported failure to prevent amputations by guarding dangerous machinery, among other workplace hazards, has resulted in citations for repeat, willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety and health standards, and a $78,000 penalty proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency announced.

OSHA opened an investigation at Precise Castings Inc., St. Charles, Ill., following an October 2004 amputation in which an employee of the company suffered severe lacerations and crushing injuries to his hand and arm and lost part of two fingers when an inadequately guarded hydraulic trim press malfunctioned while the employee was retrieving parts. The company’s history reportedly indicates that there have been several amputations from 1999 to date.

OSHA’s investigation found that the company had willfully violated federal standards by failing to guard three hydraulic trim presses at the point of operation, including one which was involved in another amputation. The company also received a citation characterized as repeat for failing to develop adequate energy control procedures for hydraulic trim presses to prevent accidental energizing of machinery. The company was cited for the same type of violation in July 2002.

OSHA also issued a serious citation for safety violations including training deficiencies and failing to provide ladders or scaffolds when required. A serious health citation was issued alleging that Precise Castings exposed workers to noise levels well above established standards, did not provide a selection of suitable hearing protection and did not require or provide proper personal protective clothing or equipment.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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