The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Maytag Searcy Laundry Products in Searcy, Ark., and proposed penalties totaling $67,500 for failing to protect workers from improperly maintained and guarded machinery.
OSHA cited the company for one willful and one serious violation following an investigation that began March 2 when the agency received a complaint that a worker’s hand had been amputated by a machine.
“The press brake, a metal forming machine, double-cycled when it should not have, just when the worker’s hand was in the point of operation,” said Paul Hansen, Little Rock area director. “By not following OSHA standards, the employer exposed workers to unnecessary hazards.”
The employer received a willful citation for failing to: ensure that the press brake was equipped with anti-repeat features; conduct and maintain inspection records of the press brake, and properly train employees on the operation of a press brake. OSHA issues a willful citation when there is evidence of the intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to its requirements.
The serious citation was for failing to properly guard the press brake. A serious citation is issued 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.
Maytag, a manufacturer of washers and dryers, employs about 600 workers in Searcy. Headquartered in Newton, Iowa, Maytag employs about 12,000 workers company-wide.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA Little Rock area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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