OSHA Enforcement ActivityInterlake Mecalux Inc., a manufacturer of storage and racking systems, has been cited by OSHA for 17 serious safety violations, many of which exposed workers to amputation hazards*. OSHA has proposed penalties of $71,700, following the October 2013 complaint inspection of the Melrose Park-based plant.

5,000 occupational amputations a year

Failure to provide required machine guarding and protect workers adequately from moving machine parts during servicing and/or maintenance activities are primary causes of amputations. In 2012, more than 5,000 workers suffered an amputation injury on the job.

The complaint inspection was initiated under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on amputation hazards.

Lack of LOTO, machine guarding

Eleven serious safety violations were cited, including exposing workers to amputation hazards by failing to protect workers adequately through lockout/tag out devices during machinery servicing; failing to train workers in energy control procedures; failing to inspect procedures annually; and lack of machine guarding on presses and other mechanical equipment.

Other serious violations involve issues, such as unguarded floor and wall openings exposing workers to fall hazards; failing to provide electrical personal protective equipment for employees doing electrical work; and use of damaged extension cords.

Additionally, the company was cited for six other-than-serious violations for improper use of ladders and failing to maintain records on crane inspections and maintenance.

A health inspection also was opened in October 2013. The company was cited for nine violations on Jan. 22, carrying proposed penalties of $21,550.