OSHA has fined Alliance Laundry Systems after the company returned a hydraulic press to operation without machine safety guards, resulting in an amputation.
The amputation injury, which occurred on July 20 2016, was the second amputation injury at an the global laundry equipment manufacturer in less than two months.
"Despite earlier machine related injuries, Alliance Laundry Systems allowed workers to operate a machine without installing safety guards. We find these failures troubling," said Robert Bonack, OSHA's area director in Appleton in a statement. "Ignoring guarding methods required by OSHA creates a culture where employees' well-being is deemed unimportant, and workers are left to suffer the consequences."
The agency fined the company $124,709, citing one willful safety violation because a hydraulic press was in operation without safety guarding, resulting in a 65-year-old employee's right middle finger tip being amputated as he lowered a press used to square parts for washing machines and dryers.
In a previous investigation, OSHA discovered a grommet cutting machine severed a 26-year-old employee's right index finger on June 3, 2016. In that case, the agency issued four serious violations to Alliance in July 2016.
These two cases aren’t the company’s first experience with amputation injuries. In another incident, which occurred on Aug. 12, 2015, a 51-year-old employee's right hand was crushed when he came in contact with operating parts of a folding machine. The injury resulted in the amputation of his right middle finger.