A Hinsdale, N.H., manufacturer's failure to protect workers against amputations and other injuries from unguarded moving machine parts has resulted in $112,250 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
HCP Packaging USA, Inc. was cited for two alleged willful and five alleged serious violations of federal workplace safety standards at its 370 Monument Road plant. The citations and fines resulted from an OSHA inspection begun Oct. 12, 2005, in response to a complaint that workers had suffered serious injuries due to unguarded machinery throughout the plant.
OSHA's inspection found that numerous machines, including stamping machines, cappers and welders, were unguarded or inadequately guarded against employees coming in contact with their moving parts and that the plant also lacked a program, procedures and employee training for shutting down molding machines and locking out their power source before employees changed dies or performed maintenance.
"The lack of these basic and vital safeguards exposed employees to laceration, amputation, crushing and other potentially fatal or disabling injuries," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "The company knew these worker protections were required but apparently chose to ignore them."
As a result of these conditions, OSHA issued HCP two willful citations, with $100,000 in fines, for the lack of machine guarding and the absence of a lockout/tagout program. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
An additional $12,250 in fines were proposed for five serious citations concerning lack of personal protective equipment; unguarded energized electrical equipment; unguarded shafting; lack of hearing protection and lack of a hearing conservation program. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.