OSHA opened an inspection at Progressive Processing on April 9 following a fatality in which an employee's clothing became entangled in the rotating parts of machinery. OSHA's investigation not only found willful violations of machine guarding regulatory standards, but also determined that the steel processing firm failed to protect against employee hearing loss and was failing to properly record work-related injuries and illnesses that could have initiated an OSHA inspection.
The federal workplace safety agency also found willful safety violations with the operation and maintenance of industrial trucks among, other workplace safety issues.
"Machinery accidents are a major cause of job-related injuries and fatalities across the country. These accidents are preventable. Measures can and must be taken by employers to prevent such accidents. The penalty amount of $288,250 is an indication of the seriousness of this matter," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
OSHA has conducted four previous inspections since 1985 at Progressive Processing resulting in eight serious violations issued to the company. The business employs approximately 150 workers in the processing of round steel bar stock primarily for the automotive industry.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, request a meeting with the area OSHA director or pay the fine.