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Workplace amputations in Mississippi, Florida bring OSHA citations (6/27)

June 27, 2011
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A Mississippi recycling company and a Fort Lauderdale manufacturer have both been assessed multiple violations by OSHA, after employees exposed to unguarded machinery suffered serious injuries. 

OSHA opened its inspection of Triple P Farms Inc.’s Verona, MS facility after a worker had both legs amputated when his foot got caught in a baling machine as he attempted to clear cardboard that had jammed in a machine. 

"These amputations could have been prevented if the company had been following proper safety procedures," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's area director in Jackson. "A lockout/tagout program should have been in place for equipment like the baling machine, in order to protect workers from serious injury or death." 

Triple P Farms – which is based in Glen, MS -- was cited for one willful and four serious safety violations. Proposed penalties totally $73,500. The willful violation was for failing to develop an energy control program for employees performing servicing and maintenance on equipment. 

The three serious violations includeD failing to provide energy control training; failing to certify that each forklift operator had been trained and evaluated; and allowing the fixed stairs' height and width to be uneven. 

Jefco Manufacturing Inc. of Fort Lauderdale was cited for half a dozen safety violations following a January incident in which a worker suffered an amputation of three fingers while operating a mechanical power press. "This employer is aware of OSHA's requirements for machine guarding, but continues to choose to put workers at risk," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.

Two willful violations relate to the amputation, including exposing workers to unguarded machinery and failing to have adequate guarding on the hydraulic brake press, which exposes employees to hand amputations.

Three serious violations include exposing workers to flying pieces of metal, allowing the turnover bars used to adjust the mechanical power presses not to be spring-loaded and failing to use safety blocks when adjusting or repairing the die on the power presses. 

Proposed penalties for the citations total $94,200. 

Jefco Manufacturing makes custom hinges for boats.

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