A complaint about a partial thumb amputation brought federal inspectors to Liqui-Box Corporation of Ashland, Ohio, where they found violations of the OSHA's machine safety standards.

The agency determined the manufacturing maintenance employee suffered the injury on Feb. 23, 2016, while operating a plastic blow molding press. With a guard door open, the employee reached for a part when the machine's mold closed on the employee's left hand. The crushing injuries led to the amputation of the end of the employee's thumb.

"Liqui-Box could have prevented this worker's injury by following common sense safety procedures,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo.

OSHA found the company failed to:

  • Report a hospitalization injury to OSHA within 24 hours, as required.
  • Adequately guard machine operating parts.
  • Implement machine safety procedures, known as lockout/tag out, to prevent unintentional operation during service and maintenance.
  • Train workers in lockout/tagout procedures.

The food plastics manufacturer was cited for for three serious and one-other-than serious safety violations.

Liqui-Box manufactures plastic packaging products for the food industry and employs 200 workers in Ashland. Based in Richmond, Virginia, the company also operates Ohio facilities in Upper Sandusky and Columbus, as well as Sacramento, California and Lake Wales, Florida.

Proposed Penalties: $42,413