OSHA proposed $192,000 in fines against an Attleboro, Mass., manufacturer after inspecting the facility where an employee lost his hand in a dust collection hopper last summer.
OSHA cited Mantrose-Haeuser Company Inc., a producer of industrial and pharmaceutical food coatings, for a total of 29 alleged repeat, willful and serious violations of safety and health standards following the July 17, 2007 incident. OSHA said Luis Ciccia of Pawtucket, Mass., lost his hand because it got caught in an unguarded rotating valve in the machine.
The agency added that the plant was cited for a similar machine-guarding hazard in April 2005. Two other repeat citations were issued for unguarded work platforms and an emergency exit door that could not be opened.
The inspection also revealed that the plant had not developed and implemented required procedures to shut down machines and lock out powersources to prevent unintended startup, which OSHA labeled as willful violations. OSHA also cited additional violations, such as blocked and unmarked emergency exit doors and routes, lack of lockout/tagout devices and training and trip and fall hazards, during the course of the inspection.
Plant Manager Brian Terando said the company intends to challenge OSHA citations as “there is no basis on which to characterize any actions as either ‘willful’ or ‘repeat.’”
“The safety and well-being of our employees is, and has been, our top priority, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to prevent accident or injury,” Terando said. “However, we respectfully disagree with the nature of some of [OSHA's] findings.”
Terando also stated that the company took immediate corrective actions after the incident, which included “installing additional protection, implementing new operational procedures and updating our training program.”