Fiberglass Pipe Manufacturer Faces Fines After Finger Amputation

Investigators determined that RPS Composites Alabama exposed workers to struck-by and caught-in hazards.

Mobile, Ala.-based fiberglass pipe manufacturer RPS Composites Alabama is facing a dozen safety and health violations after a worker suffered a finger amputation.

OSHA,which opened an investigation immediately after the incident, discovered numerous machine safety hazards the company failed to address.

“Employers must evaluate their workplace to ensure employees are provided appropriate training, and the equipment they use is properly guarded to prevent amputation hazards,” said Joseph Roesler., OSHA Mobile area office director.

A lack of machine guarding caused a worker's safety-gloved hand to become caught and pulled into a pipe-winding machine, which led to the amputation. OSHA investigators found 10 serious and two other-than-serious violations for exposing employees to struck-by and caught-in hazards by failing to install proper machine guarding; failing to train employees on how to control energy sources and allowing combustible dust to accumulate.

RPS Composites, which faces $74,833 in proposed penalties, has 15 business days to respond to the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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