The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Oklahoma City's M-D Building Products Inc. and proposed penalties totaling $177,000. The fines were assessed following two investigations at the company's headquarters on 4041 N. Santa Fe.

Citations for one willful, 17 serious and one other-than-serious safety violations were issued following inspection of an accident. The inspection began Oct. 7 after an employee's right arm was amputated when he caught his hand in a coil while inserting a strip of cardboard into a recoiling machine.

"Health and safety standards must be followed to protect employees from injuries and fatalities," said James Brown, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City. "If the company had followed OSHA standards, it is possible this unfortunate accident could have been avoided."

The willful safety citation was issued because the company failed to ensure workers were using personal protective equipment. Serious safety violations include failure to: ensure lockout/tagout procedures were followed to prevent startup of machinery during repair or maintenance; provide necessary machine guarding; provide fire extinguishers, and protect workers from electrical hazards. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious injury could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Penalties for safety violations totaled $132,000.

A second inspection begun Nov. 22 resulted in additional citations with penalties totaling $45,000 for 12 health violations - 10 serious, one repeat and one other-than-serious. Among the violations were failure to: provide the required respiratory equipment, implement an emergency response plan and train workers in the proper use of hearing protection devices. The repeat health violation was issued for failing to monitor noise levels.