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Worker Endures Three Surgeries After Her Hand Is Crushed in a Press

July 20, 2015
OSHA claims Lauren Manufacturing ignored machine safety hazards.

A hydraulic press crushed a 62-year-old machine operator’s left hand at a seal and gasket manufacturer in New Philadelphia, Ohio, resulting in multiple broken bones. The injured employee, who had worked at the Lauren Manufacturing for 15 years, has been unable to return to work and has endured three surgeries as a result.

OSHA found in January that Lauren Manufacturing LLC ignored required machine safety guards that would have prevented the woman’s hand from touching press operating parts. The agency issued one willful, four serious and one other-than-serious safety violations to the rubber seal and gasket manufacturer on July 13. Proposed penalties total $105,000.

“This employee may never come back to work because Lauren Manufacturing ignored safety requirements that would have prevented this catastrophic injury, which affects her life and livelihood,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “Each year, hundreds of workers are injured on-the-job because employers, like this one, fail to provide a safe work environment, as the law requires.”

The agency cited the company for one willful violation for exposing workers to machinery operating parts. It issued four serious violations for failing to develop and train workers on steps for shutting down or isolating energy sources to machinery during maintenance and service, such as mold changes. Lauren Manufacturing also was issued one other-than-serious violation for failing to notify OSHA of the injury. OSHA reporting requirements state that companies must report any worker hospitalization within 24 hours.

Lauren International is the parent company for eight subsidiaries, including Lauren Manufacturing. The company employs about 275 workers at the New Philadelphia manufacturing plant and more than 440 corporate-wide.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with Zubaty or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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