A May, 2015 workplace accident brought OSHA enforcement officers to Clarion Sintered Metals, Inc. in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, where they found dozens of violations – including the one that led to the worker’s injury.

The investigation began after Clarion reported the hospitalization of an employee whose right leg was crushed while he was loading cardboard into a stationary trash compactor. The worker's leg was later amputated*.

OSHA determined that the company failed to provide employees with access to emergency stop buttons while loading and unloading a stationary compactor, which directly contributed to the employee's leg injury and ultimate amputation. The employer also exposed workers to dangers including unprotected machinery, struck-by hazards, and use of uninspected and damaged equipment. The serious citations were issued for these violations.

The other-than-serious citations involved exit signs that were not illuminated and poor housekeeping.

Proposed penalties for the 37 total violations: $74,000

"Because Clarion Sintered Metals failed to take action to protect its employees and correct unsafe conditions at its plant, a worker needlessly suffered the loss of a limb. Through effective use of machine guarding and employer provided worker training on how to do the job safely, this incident could have been prevented," said Theresa A. Naim, OSHA's area director in Erie.