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Employee Loses Four Fingers on First Day Image: Thinkstock

Employee Loses Four Fingers on First Day

Employee suffers a “preventable” injury thanks to a lack of safety training, OSHA says.

A 21-year-old new hire at a plastic molding company paid a high price his first day on the job.

After only a few hours on the job, he suffered severe burns and the loss of four fingers on his right hand while trying clear a jam in a plastic molding machine.

OSHA found that the man’s employer, Quality Blow Molding Inc. of Elyria, Ohio, did not train him on the safety requirements related to machine hazards.

The company, which manufactures bottles, golf tees and other plastic items, has been cited for similar problems in the past.

OSHA cited Quality Blow Molding for similar hazards in 2010 and 2014 at the same facility.

"A preventable and unforgivable injury has changed this young man's life," said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "For the second time in two years, Quality Blow Molding intentionally and willfully disregarded OSHA standards and requirements for machine safety."

In its investigation of the employee’s March 2, 2015, hand injury, OSHA on Aug. 12, cited Quality Blow Molding for two willful, two repeated and one other-than-serious violation.

OSHA found the company didn’t protect workers from operating machine parts because it had not implemented procedures to prevent machines from starting up during service and maintenance; didn’t train workers on safety procedures; and didn’t install machine guards on horizontal lathes – some of OSHA’s most frequently cited violations. Quality Blow also failed to report the employee’s injury to OSHA.

The agency proposed fines of $171,270 and placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

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