US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Fort Lauderdale, Fla., manufacturer
with willful, serious safety violations following workplace amputation incident
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jefco Manufacturing Inc. in Fort Lauderdale for six safety violations following a January incident in which a worker suffered an amputation of three fingers while operating a mechanical power press.
Two willful violations relate to the amputation, including exposing workers to unguarded machinery and failing to have adequate guarding on the hydraulic brake press, which exposes employees to hand amputations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Three serious violations include exposing workers to flying pieces of metal, allowing the turnover bars used to adjust the mechanical power presses not to be spring-loaded and failing to use safety blocks when adjusting or repairing the die on the power presses. A serious violation 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.
One other-than-serious violation was cited with no monetary penalty for not having the inspection records for the power presses. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Proposed penalties for the citations total $94,200.
"This employer is aware of OSHA's requirements for machine guarding, but continues to choose to put workers at risk," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale. "It is the company's responsibility to ensure a safe workplace."
Jefco Manufacturing, which makes custom hinges for boats, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office, 1000 S. Pine Island Road, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33324; telephone 954-424-0242. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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