After numerous inspections, warnings and fines, OSHA has levied $822,000 in fines against Lloyd Industries Inc. -- bringing the company's total to more than $1 million in the last fifteen years. The company has also been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The latest fine follows a gruesome July 2014 accident in which the die on a press brake machine dropped on a worker's right hand, resulting in the amputation of three fingers. The machine lacked required safety guards and had not worked properly before the incident - a fact of which the owner was aware.
40 serious injuries in 15 years
The Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania-based company has had approximately 40 serious injuries among its workforce since 2000. These injuries include serious lacerations as well as crushed, fractured, dislocated and amputated* fingers.
OSHA says Lloyd Industries has shown a pattern of defiance toward the agency’s safety standards. In one instance, OSHA officials were forced to summon U.S. federal marshals to gain entrance when Lloyd refused to admit them, even after they obtained a warrant.
"William Lloyd and Lloyd Industries are serial violators of OSHA safety standards, and their workers have paid the price," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "No employer is above the law. For 15 years, they have repeatedly put their employees at risk of serious injuries. This must stop now."
OSHA said inspectors have found violations like the absence of safety guards to prevent serious injuries from moving machine parts. Lloyd then agrees to correct the hazardous conditions and accepts OSHA penalties, but similar violations are found when the inspectors return.
Owner: Machine guarding slows production
During one inspection, Lloyd complained to OSHA inspectors that the machine guards that protected his employees slowed production. He also made a conscious decision in 2013 to stop an audiometric testing program required to prevent employee hearing loss, OSHA found. The testing only resumed in December 2014, after OSHA's investigation.
In its latest inspection OSHA issued 10 willful violations based on the company's repeated failure to guard machines, and to provide annual audiometric tests. Additionally, the company was cited for three willful, four serious, and seven other-than-serious violations for electrical hazards, noise protection, and recordkeeping violations.
About Lloyd Industries
Incorporated in 1981, Lloyd Industries Inc. manufactures fire and smoke dampers. It employs approximately 70 workers at its Montgomeryville site and 25 employees at a second location in Orange Park, Florida. The firm's workers' compensation insurer is AmeriHealth Casualty Services in Philadelphia.
Each year, more than 200,000 American workers suffer cuts, lacerations and amputations from operating parts of dangerousmachinery. Investigators often find various upsetters, power press brakes and forging machines used in the plant lack adequate safety mechanisms. Machine hazards continue to be among the most frequently cited by OSHA.