The agency proposed a $127,750 fine for willful and serious citations alleging improper or lack of equipment safety testing and maintenance, and issues involving machine guarding.
"Protecting the health and safety of workers in America is one of the chief concerns of the U.S. Department of Labor," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "Our regulations prescribe excellent methods to keep workers safe from the hazards associated with grinding wheels and we will make certain these regulations are followed."
Milwaukee Area Office Director for OSHA George Yoksas said the agency opened an inspection of the firm following the Aug. 6, 2002 accident that occurred when an abrasive wheel on a swing grinder exploded, propelling fragments and the wheel guard itself some 50 feet and striking the grinder operator. The worker was hospitalized in critical condition following the incident and has not yet fully recovered.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, request an informal hearing with the area OSHA director or pay the fine.