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Texas manufacturer fined $122K after two gruesome machine accidents

Company cited for three repeated and six serious violations

Posted December 4, 2015

Twice in 14 months, OSHA reports that temporary workers at a Texas furniture manufacturer were seriously injured when inadequately guarded machines pulled them in, removing skin from the wrist up to the shoulder in the most recent incident, and from the wrist down in an earlier incident. As a result of the earlier incident, the employee's fingertips were also amputated.

Following the most recent incident, OSHA investigators found the company exposed workers to moving machine parts, failed to shut down machines properly and ensure they would not start during servicing, and failed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers from corrosive chemicals.

The agency cited the company on November 12 for three repeated and six serious violations and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Proposed fines for the company’s health and safety violations total $122,500.

In addition, OSHA proposed $38,500 in fines to the staffing agency which provided the company with workers in both incidents, for one repeated violation for failing to provide machine guarding.

Both employers have 15 business days from receipt of their citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Austin, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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