Amy Food Cited for Exposing Workers to Unguarded Machinery

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Houston-based Amy Food Inc. with one willful, four serious, and three other-than-serious citations for exposing workers to possible amputation hazards at the company's Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $77,100.  I'd like to think this isn't true – because I'm an Amy's fan – but unfortunately the citation seems to be true.

 

OSHA's Houston South Area Office
initiated a safety inspection on Richey Street following a complaint alleging that several employees had suffered near amputation incidents while operating machinery. The investigation found that not only did the company fail to have an energy control program in place but also machines were not being unplugged from the electrical power source prior to maintenance and servicing. [WCx]

The willful violation has been issued for failing to develop, document, and utilize an energy control program. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations include failing to provide required machine guarding on chains and sprockets, cover floor holes and openings, and adequately mark exit doors. 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.

The other-than-serious violations involve inadequate recordkeeping of injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"This company exposed its workers to injuries, including possible amputation hazards, by failing to develop, document, and utilize an energy control program during the maintenance and servicing of machinery," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "Employer disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated." [WCx]

 

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


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©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Carmel Candy Machine Snags Clothing and Pulls Woman In

We're writing about yet another unguarded machine accident… there are  too many of these around the world. Manufacturers of machinery and employers need to pay close attention to making sure all machines were guarded, employees/supervisors are trained and there were warnings for those few times the guards had to be removed.

Here are the facts we know about this accident.

British chocolate chain Thorntons has been fined after a worker broke her finger while operating a wrapping machine.

According to a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Ellen Yardley, 37, from Derbyshire was working at the company’s Somercotes plant on a foil wrapping machine, where chocolates were wrapped in foil and dispensed down a chute into a tray.   

 

During a short break in production, while the machine was still running, Ms Yardley attempted to clean the inside of the output chute which had become covered in caramel. However, the cloth she was using became tangled in rotating parts which gripped the chocolates and her right hand was dragged into the machine. (WCxKit)

Yardley’s middle finger was fractured and cut, and she was off work for 10 weeks following the incident.An investigation by HSE found the machine had guarding installed but it was inadequate.  

 

A subsequent audit of other machines in the factory found safety improvements were necessary to a range of machines, including preventing access to dangerous parts or repairs to existing safeguards.

 

Thorntons PLC, of Thornton Park, Somercotes, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.(WCxKit)

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court fined the company $30,000 (20,000 GBP) and ordered it to pay full costs of $12,000 (7,680 GBP).



Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

British Plastics Company Fined after Technician Crushed on the Job

An experienced technician at a plastic products factory in Cornwall, Great Britain was killed after he was crushed between the plates on a machine used to make plastic lids.
 
 
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Shaun O' Dwyer, 54, originally from North Yorkshire, but living in Redruth died in the incident on May 30, 2008 at Curver UK Ltd's factory on Cardew Industrial Estate.
 
 
HSE prosecuted Curver UK Ltd., (formerly Contico Europe Ltd.) for failing to provide adequate safety measures.
 
 
Truro Crown Court heard that in preparing the machinery O'Dwyer needed to access the plastic moldings machine's plates. This was normally done via a guard which, when opened, prevented the machine from operating. However in this case one of the conveyors on the machine had been removed and O'Dwyer was able to access the machine through an unguarded gap. Whilst he was inside the machine the press started to operate and the plates closed crushing him at a pressure of over 1,000 tons.
 
 
HSE Inspector Trevor Hay noted, "This tragic incident could have been avoided if the company had observed standard industry guidance from the British Plastics Federation and the British Standards Institution. Users of such machinery should ensure effective safeguards are in place to avoid further deaths or injuries to their workers."(WCxKit)
 
 
Curver UK Ltd of York Gate, London, pleaded guilty to committing a breach of Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations under Section 33(1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £160,000 ($245,000) and ordered to pay £32,000 ($49,000) costs.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 
NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

New Jersey Employer Fined $126,000 for Allowing Worker Hazards

New Jersey-based Supply Plus was recently cited with one willful, 25 serious and two other-than-serious safety violations in response to a complaint alleging imminent danger for failing to guard machines and exposing workers to fall and electrical hazards at the company's Paterson facility, according to an OSHA report. Proposed penalties total $126, 000.
 
 
An inspection revealed one willful violation, with a $42,000 penalty, for failing to provide machine guarding. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. (WCxKit)
 
 
The serious violations, with $84,000 in penalties, include failing to keep work areas and passageways free of litter; provide guardrail protection, guard machines and electrical boxes; provide an eyewash station; provide personal protective equipment for workers handling chemicals; provide industrial truck and hazardous communication training; ensure exit routes were unobstructed and visibly marked; make sure exit doors could open properly; cover electrical panel boards supplying power for equipment and lighting; properly use flexible cords; implement a lockout/tagout program for energy sources to prevent machines from accidentally starting up during servicing and maintenance; perform workplace hazards assessment and develop a written hazardous communication program.

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.
 
 
The other-than-serious violations, carrying no penalty, are due to record-keeping violations. An-other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. (WCxKit)
 
 
"Each of these violations left workers vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injuries or quite possibly death," said Lisa Levy, OSHA's area director in Hasbrouck Heights. "It's vital that Supply Plus correct these hazards to protect its workers."

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

Our 2012 WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Global Manufacturer Fined after Worker Dies in British Factory

A global manufacturer has been fined £180,000 ($280,000) after a worker was killed at an Andrex factory in Barrow-in-Furness, Great Britain, according to a report from The Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Christopher Massey died after being struck by a piece of machinery.
 
 
Massey, a former Barrow Raiders rugby player, was struck by a piece of machinery while working on a night shift at the Kimberly-Clark plant Nov. 8 2007.(WCxKit)
 
 
The company was prosecuted by HSE after an investigation found a dangerous part of a machine, used to produce rolls of Andrex toilet paper, had been left unguarded.
 
 
Preston Crown Court heard the 28-year-old had been looking through a gap in the machine to make sure the tissue was being fed through correctly.
 
 
As he checked inside the machine it began to move a large, 2-meter wide reel of tissue into place, striking him on the head. His body was discovered 20 minutes later by colleagues shortly before the end of their shift.
 
 
The HSE investigation found the machine had been modified four months earlier so that reels of two-ply as well as single-ply toilet paper could be fed through it.
 
 
The part of the machine used to hold the large reels of tissue had been moved back so that another piece of machinery could be added to handle the two-ply toilet paper. This created a potentially dangerous gap which Massey and other workers had used to check the tissue was being fed through correctly.
 
 
The court was told the factory had been short-staffed on the night of Massey’s death, with two of the four workers in the team off sick. He was moved to work on the part of the machine that fed through the giant reels, despite not having had training on how to operate it since its modification.
 
 
The gap in the machine gave him the best vantage point to check the tissue, and none of the workers had been told it was not safe to stand in that position. Following his death the company fitted two sheets of clear plastic over the gap which allowed employees to check the machine without being put at risk.
 
 
Kimberly-Clark, Ltd., pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. The company, of Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, was ordered to pay £20,000 ($31,000) in prosecution costs in addition to the fine of £180,000 ($280,000). (WCxKit)
 
 
Massey was one of 29 workers to be killed while working in the manufacturing industry in Great Britain in 2007-8. More than 5,000 workers also suffered major injuries.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 2012 WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contactInfo@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Australian Employee Crushed to Death in Industrial Blender

A Western Sydney manufacturing company and its director were recently fined a total of $127,400 and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after a high powered industrial blender was turned on with a man inside it.
 
 
According to a report from the WorkCover Authority, FIP Brakes International (FIP) produces industrial sized brake pads, as well as other products, for trains and other railway vehicles and employs around 60 people mainly based at its facility in Wetherill Park. Its managing director is Chris Katakouzinos. (WCxKit)
 
 
A machine operator was killed when he was cleaning out an industrial blender at FIP’s premises.
The power to the machine had not been isolated and the machine became operational with the worker still inside. He died at the site with extensive crush injuries and lacerations.
 
 
A WorkCover investigation found a significant number of safety failings:
 

1.      The machine should not have been able to operate while its front

       doors were open. 

2.      The safety switches were either broken or malfunctioning. 

3.      The machine’s electrical power supply had not been turned off. 

4.      The machine operator should not have been working alone. 

5.      The machine was not properly maintained. 

6.      The operator was not given proper training.

 
 
FIP and its director were charged with breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.
 
 
In handing down her finding in the Industrial Court, Justice Backman said the incident was foreseeable and that there were serious deficiencies in the company’s systems. (WCxKit)
 
 
They both pleaded guilty. FIP was fined $117,000 and Mr. Katakouzinos $10,400. The court ordered them to pay WorkCover’s legal costs.
 

 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
 

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

OSHA Proposed Penalties of $949,000 for Texas Employers for Unguarded Machinery Fall Hazards and More

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited PJ Trailers Manufacturing Co. Inc. and Delco Trailers Co. Inc., a similar company owned by PJ Trailers, for seven willful, 26 serious, nine repeat and four other-than-serious violations.
 
 
According to an agency report, OSHA inspectors found workers exposed to unguarded machinery, fall hazards and accumulations of potentially hazardous dust, among other violations. Proposed penalties total $949,800. (WCxKit)
 
 
"Employers have a responsibility to keep their workers safe and healthy. Willful and repeat citations, as well as significant penalties, reflect the fact that management knew workers were exposed to dangerous conditions yet failed to provide them with basic safety protections. That choice is unacceptable and needlessly placed these workers' health and safety at risk," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.
 
 
PJ Trailers Manufacturing and Delco Trailers are commonly owned, with the same president and management. They share a work site, a human resources division and a safety and health manager, and they have interrelated and integrated operations. PJ Trailers and Delco Trailers previously had been cited by OSHA for many of the same hazards that the agency found during its most recent inspection. Although the company had certified abatement of the prior hazardous conditions, many of the fixes were later abandoned to accommodate production. Since 2008, at least 15 workers have suffered eye injuries requiring medical treatment and or days away from work.
 
 
OSHA's Dallas Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection at the company's facility at 1807 Farm to Market 2352 in Sumner following receipt of a complaint that employees were not adequately protected from being injured by rotating machinery parts, and employees were exposed to toxic welding fumes while fabricating trailers and noise levels above approved health standards.
 
 
The willful violations involve failing to provide fall protection for employees working on stacked trailers, provide adequate machine guarding to prevent "caught-in" or "caught-between injuries," provide employees with proper eye protection during cutting and welding operations, and establish and maintain an audiometric testing program. Audiometric testing is required when employees are exposed to high noise levels to determine if their hearing is being adversely affected. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
 
 
Repeat violations include failing to ensure that all spray booth areas were kept free from accumulated powder coating, guard several pieces of hazardous machinery, have all necessary lockout/tagout procedures, provide training on existing lockout/tagout procedures to protect employees from hazardous machinery starting up unexpectedly and ensure that medical evaluations were completed to determine employees' ability to use respirators. 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. OSHA cited the company in September and October of 2006 and March 2010 for similar violations.
 
 
Serious violations include failing to provide required fall protection, provide training on electrical hazards and prevent exposure to welding fumes in excess of the average allowed during an 8-hour shift. 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.
 
 
Other-than-serious violations include failing to enter recordable injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log within seven calendar days and properly certify the OSHA 300A form or its equivalent. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. (WCxKit)
 
 
The workers compensation carrier insuring PJ Trailers and Delco Trailers is Farmington Casualty Co.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.


Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  
www.WCManual.com
 
 

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Yale University Student Dies on Unguarded Machinery

Missing required safeguards on a piece of lab machinery led to the death of a Yale University student.  Michelle Dufault, a physics and astronomy major from Massachusetts, who was close to graduating, was working alone in the lab when her hair was snared into a fast-spinning lathe. Police report they got a call at 2:30 a.m. local time, though the time of the accident was not evident.

 
 
The accident exposed problems regarding the school safety policies, federal safety investigators stated in a letter to the school. The lathe, built nearly 50 years ago, lacked an emergency stop button that could shut off power and was missing physical guards to protect the operator, OSHA stated in the letter.
 
 
According to information from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),the agency did not fine Yale, claiming it lacked jurisdiction due to the fact there was no employer-employee relationship. But in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, OSHA informed school officials that it found a number of problems in the machine shop where Michele Dufault died on April 12. (WCxKit).
 
 
The OSHA letter claims rules for using the equipment, including warnings, were not posted. Yale also should ensure students don’t work alone, establish specific hours of operation and provide a formal training program; the letter went on to state. Yale challenged the letter, claiming the machinery did meet national safety standards.
 
 
Surveys of personal protective equipment were not completed and documented, and safety inspections did not address machine safeguarding, according to the letter. (WCxKit)
 
 
According to Yale officials, the school provided extensive machine tool training and personal protective equipment, and students were repeatedly reminded not to use machinery without someone else in the room. Yale says staff inspected and maintained machines on a regular basis. Yale added that Dufault had undergone a safety course that included instructions to tie back long hair. 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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