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Worker gets scalped; employer gets fined $91,000 for safety violations (3/25)

March 25, 2010
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OSHA has cited Ohio Decorative Products, a die cast metal products manufacturer in Spencerville, with $91,000 in proposed penalties for workplace safety violations.

OSHA opened an inspection in December 2009 after receiving a report that a worker was scalped when his hair was entangled in an unprotected rotating shaft on a piece of equipment. As a result of the inspection, the citations issued – one willful, one serious and one repeat – were all for the employer failing to provide proper machine guarding on equipment.

"Having proper machine guarding on equipment can prevent these needless injuries to workers," said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi in Toledo, Ohio. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their employees, and OSHA will do all it legally can to ensure the company complies with the regulations."

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. OSHA issues repeat violations when it finds a substantially similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states after violations have been cited at another facility. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

In the past, OSHA inspected Ohio Decorative Products 12 times resulting in 77 violations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.

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