OSHA Fines Crown Products for Amputation Hazards

May 17, 2001
OSHA cited Crown Products Co., and proposed fines totaling\r\n$142,000 after an amputation accident at one of the company's two\r\nJacksonville, Fla., facilities.

OSHA cited Crown Products Co., and proposed fines totaling $142,000 after a Nov. 20, 2000 accident at one of the company''s two Jacksonville, Fla., facilities.

OSHA began a comprehensive inspection of the New Kings Road plant after a mechanical power press started up while an employee was trying to unjam it. The machine severed three of the employee''s fingers and crushed his arm, which was later amputated.

The agency fined Crown Products $70,000 for one willful violation for failing to fit the mechanical power press with a guard to protect workers from amputation hazards.

James Borders, OSHA''s Jacksonville area director explained that a change in production required replacement of a press machine die to which a physical barrier guard had been bolted. "This employer knew that the new, smaller die was unguarded, yet instructed employees to operate the press," said Borders. "Taking the time to follow OSHA regulations by fitting the replacement part with a guard could have prevented this tragic accident."

Among nine serious violations cited by OSHA were numerous deficiencies in machine guarding and lack of lockout procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and repair, both of which placed employees at risk of amputations.

The company also had no regular power press safety inspection program and no weekly inspections of the mechanical condition of the presses.

The serious citations -- defined as those in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard -- drew proposed penalties of $37,000.

The remaining fines of $35,000 were proposed for three repeat violations.

These addressed the absence of guards to prevent entry of hands or fingers into the point of operation of the presses and to prevent employee contact with rotating flywheels.

The pulleys and drive belts on the band saw were also unguarded.

The company was cited for similar violations after a May 1998 inspection of the Phillips Highway plant.

Crown Products Co., a sheet metal fabricator, employs approximately 251 workers, about 33 of whom are assigned to the New Kings Road plant. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA''s citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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