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Company fined $106,080 after employee gets caught in machine, suffers broken arm

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Jun 22, 2019 at 8:00 AM

NAPOLEON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corp. after an employee suffered a broken arm while servicing a machine at its Napoleon, Ohio, facility. The company faces proposed penalties of $106,080 for one repeat and three serious safety violations.

OSHA’s investigation found the aluminum can manufacturer failed to lockout the machine that caused the employee’s injury. The Agency cited the company for its failure to train employees on energy control procedures, perform periodic inspections of energy control procedures, and guard the machine’s pinch point. OSHA cited Silgan Containers for similar violations at its Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, plant in 2015.

“Employers are required to train their employees on proper lockout/tag out procedures to prevent the release of stored energy or unexpected startup of equipment,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberly Nelson in Toledo, Ohio.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on lockout-tagout hazards on OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy page and the interactive eTool.

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

In a separate case, OSHA cited Ohio Gratings Inc. — a manufacturer of aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon products based in Canton — for exposing employees to respiratory, chemical, and other hazards. OSHA cited the company for 17 serious and five other-than-serious safety and health violations, and faces penalties of $183,748.

OSHA initiated a December 2018 inspection after receiving a formal complaint alleging poor ventilation, and lack of training on chemicals used at the facility. OSHA inspectors determined that the company operated a dip tank containing flammable liquid without using proper drainage, overflow piping, adequate ventilation, and fire protection. The Agency cited Ohio Gratings for failing to ensure employees used personal protective equipment, inadequate machine guarding, recordkeeping deficiencies, struck-by hazards, and exposing workers to flammable liquids.

“OSHA standards require employers to regularly conduct hazard analyses of the worksite, train workers to recognize hazards, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to materials that can cause long-term health issues,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts, in Cleveland, Ohio.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on controlling exposure to chemical hazards and toxic substances.

The company has contested the citations and penalties the findings, and it will now go before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

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