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OSHA: Machine Guards Might Have Prevented Severing of Worker’s Arm

April 1, 2016
Employer Parker Hannifin was cited for similar violations after a 2013 amputation at Kennett, Mo., site.

A machine that sizes and cuts rubber hose severed a 52-year-old woman’s right arm just nine days after she starting a new job as a machine operator at Parker Hannifin Corp.’s Kennett, Mo., worksite. After an investigation, OSHA determined the machine lacked adequate safety guards to prevent the horrific injury.

On March 24, OSHA issued one repeated, and one serious safety violation to Parker Hannifin Corp. for the Dec. 23, 2015, incident. In 2013, OSHA cited the company for similar machine hazards at its Kennett facility.

“Imagine the terror this worker felt as her arm was pulled into the operating parts of this powerful machine and cut severely,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Exposing workers to such hazards is inexcusable. In 2013, OSHA provided safety intervention at Parker Hannifin after a machine lacking guards caused another employee to suffer an amputation. The company needs to take immediate action to protect workers from machine hazards at its facility.”

In addition to inadequate safety guards on numerous machines, investigators found Parker Hannifin workers exposed to trips and falls because floor openings were unguarded. The agency has proposed penalties of $44,000.

Since Jan. 1, 2015, OSHA requires employers to report any severe work-related injury – defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye – within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force. In the first full year of the program, employers reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. In Missouri, 88 workers suffered amputation injuries in 2015.

Parker Hannifin is a leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the global company boosted annual sales of approximately $13 billion in fiscal year 2015. The company employs approximately 55,000 people in 50 countries.

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

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