An employee cutting rubber material at a New Philadelphia, Ohio, plastics manufacturing facility suffered a severe injury when a pneumatic bench cutter severed her finger. OSHA inspectors found that her employer, Lauren Manufacturing, failed to adjust the machine's light curtains, which serve as safeguards to prevent a worker's hand from coming in contact with the machine's operating parts.

OSHA also found the company:

  • Allowed temporary workers to operate machinery without training on proper procedures to isolate energy to operating parts during service and maintenance, a process known as "lockout/tag out."
  • Failed to develop and implement adequate lockout/tag out procedures and periodically inspect such procedures.
  • Did not provide protective footwear or adequate personnel protective equipment to protect employees from burns.
  • Exposed workers to live electrical contacts.

A history of preventable injuries

The latest incident continues the company's history of preventable worker injuries and safety violations. In January 2015, OSHA cited Lauren for lack of machine safety procedures after a worker's arm was crushed in a hydraulic mold press. The agency cited the company for four safety violations in that case. With citations related to the current amputation investigation, Lauren Manufacturing has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violators Enforcement Program.

A subsidiary of Cambridge-based Lauren International, Lauren Manufacturing makes molded and extruded polymer solutions and engineered products from organic, silicone, thermoplastics and other specialty polymers.The company also has a facility in Spring Lake, Michigan.

Lauren Manufacturing was proposed penalties of $274,934 and placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.