OSHA Enforcement ActivityAn OSHA inspection into an incident in which a worker’s arms were crushed while he was operating an unguarded machine uncovered information about two other incidents at the same facility; both of them involving severe injuries to employees while operating similar machinery.

The agency has cited Custom Rubber Products LLC, which is owned by Paris-based Flexitallic Group, with eight willful, egregious violations. OSHA says the company "created a dangerous work environment by failing to guard machines, which exposed workers to life-threatening hazards." Proposed penalties for the Houston facility total $560,000.

"In an instant, moving machine parts can crush workers or amputate fingers or limbs," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Safeguards are essential to protect workers from these preventable injuries. Employers must ensure that guards are functioning on machines that can cause these injuries, and there is no excuse for failing to provide them."

The eight willful violations, with a penalty of $560,000, were cited for failing to provide one or more methods of machine guarding to protect the operator and other workers in the machine area from hazards created by rotating parts while operating seven manual lathes and other equipment.

The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CustomRubberProducts_939505_02272014.pdf.

Custom Rubber Products employs about 280 workers and manufactures products for the oil and gas industry. The workers' compensation carrier is American International Group.