OSHA has cited Marly Building Materials of Lindenhurst, N. Y., for 13 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards after an employee lost his arm in an accident. The manufacturer of concrete blocks faces $50,000 in proposed fines.
On Feb. 19, the employee was shoveling sand onto a conveyor belt as part of the production process when his left arm became caught in the conveyor belt. The arm was amputated above the elbow.
The inspection by OSHA's Long Island Area Office found that this, and other conveyors in the production area, were not guarded to prevent employees from being caught in conveyor moving parts during operation. The agency classified the violations as serious, which occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"This is precisely the type of injury that machine guarding is designed to prevent,” said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island area director. “It is a graphic example of the pain and suffering caused when an employer fails to ensure that machines and equipment have the required safeguards installed.”
OSHA’s inspection found that the plant also lacked a hazardous energy control program, procedures, lockout hardware and training for workers who inspect, maintain and repair the conveyors and other machines. Hazardous energy control involves locking out a machine’s power source, so it cannot be unintentionally activated during inspection, repair and maintenance. Other identified hazards included missing stair railings; exposed live electrical parts; safeguards designed to protect employees during an emergency, which were not in proper working order; floors and railings coated with cement dust; inadequate chemical hazard communication training; and not evaluating the workplace to determine if there were permit-required confined spaces which employees must enter.
“It is imperative that this employer take prompt and effective action to eliminate these conditions to prevent an accident like this from happening again,” Ciuffo added.
Marly Building Materials has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with Ciuffo or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.