A 45-year-old worker lost part of three fingers when his left hand caught in a table saw at a Cordova company that fabricates reusable shipping containers. Doctors reattached the fingers, but had to amputate the tip of his left middle finger. The employee has been unable to return to work.

An OSHA inspection found that his employer, Material Control Systems Inc., failed to follow safety practices that could have prevented the June 17 amputation. The company received one willful safety violation from OSHA on Sept. 3. Proposed penalties total $63,000.

"The injury could permanently affect this man's ability to earn a living," said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Had Material Control Systems installed machine guards to prevent the worker's hand from contacting the saw, he would not have suffered. Each year, thousands of workers are injured on -the -job because their employers fail to follow safety rules."

These violations are among OSHA's most frequently cited, and can result in death or permanent disability.

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