Four separate reports of workers suffering life-changing injuries brought OSHA inspectors to a Chicago manufacturing company, where they found multiple safety violations.

OSHA learned that three employees suffered amputations from unguarded chain and sprocket assemblies and another one suffered two broken bones in his hand after it was crushed by a piece of equipment.

A history of injuries

The company has a history of both violations and serious worker injuries. Some 15 workers suffered amputations at the Chicago plant in the past five years.

BWAY Corporation has been cited for five repeated and five serious safety violations of machine safety procedures and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic, and hybrid containers faces $503,380 in proposed penalties for the violations.

The repeated citations include failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures that prevent unintentional machine movement, and inadequate machine guarding on a mechanical power press, belts and pulleys, and chains and sprockets. The five serious citations involve failing to lockout equipment prior to clearing jams and inadequate machine guarding on multiple pieces of equipment.

Machine hazards are nationwide

Chicago OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb said lack of machine safety guards and procedures is a hazard that causes employee injuries nationwide each year.

“Companies must continuously monitor their facilities, and review procedures and training to ensure employees are protected from machine hazards,” said Webb.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has 27 facilities and about 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico – with about 500 employees in Chicago.