Five amputations in 14 months at Missouri manufacturer
A Missouri barrel maker is facing $413,370 in penalties after an employee suffered a life-changing injury on the job.
The incident at Missouri Cooperage Company LLC, a subsidiary of Independent Stave Company, occurred in February 2019. A a worker suffered a finger amputation when her hand was caught between the belt and pulley system.
This was the fifth amputation injury the company reported in a 14-month period.
An OSHA inspection following the incident found that the company exposed employees to amputation, noise, and other safety and health hazards at the spirits and wine barrel-making facility in Lebanon, Missouri. Inspectors cited the company for operating an unguarded chain and sprocket – the same violation for which OSHA cited the company in February 2018.
OSHA also cited the company for exposing employees to electrical and occupational noise hazards, failing to guard machines and implement adequate lockout/tagout procedures, and creating a potential fire hazard by allowing dust to accumulate on floors and surfaces.
“Employers must follow the legal requirements put in place to protect workers from injuries. Anything less than that is unacceptable,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille in Kansas City, Missouri. “Employers must continually evaluate their facilities for hazards, and train employees and managers to use proper safety controls and equipment to keep their worksites safe and healthful.”
OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on occupational noise exposure, machine guarding, control of hazardous energy, respiratory protection, exposure to combustible dust and electrical safety work practices.