The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited McDuffie Box Company Inc. in Thomson, Ga., for alleged safety violations. Penalties total $47,550.

OSHA began its inspection in March after receiving a complaint concerning improper machine guarding that caused an employee to lose several fingers on one hand. The complaint also addressed the issues of no emergency stops on machines, slip hazards, lack of forklift training and inoperable horns on forklifts.

The company is being cited with one willful safety violation with $42,000 in proposed penalties for failing to develop specific lockout/tagout procedures for accidental energy start-up regarding several machines in the facility. A willful citation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The facility is also being cited with nine serious violations with $5,550 in proposed penalties. The violations concern exposing employees to amputation hazards, improper storing of cylinders that create struck-by hazards and several electrical deficiencies.

"This injury could have been prevented if the employer implemented OSHA standards for lockout/tagout procedures," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "Management knew what the standard is and failed to make the required change to protect its workers."

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.