ambulanceAfter one machine operator's hand was crushed and another's hand partially amputated,  an OSHA investigation into at Precision Custom Coatings in Totowa, NJ found that the fabric manufacturer had failed to correct an earlier violation cited for a lack of machine guarding.

For that repeat violation, one willful one and a dozen serious safety violations, the company faces $185,400 in proposed penalties.

The Totowa Police Department notified OSHA that a machine operator's hand had been crushed while moving materials through a roller machine. During the investigation into that incident, OSHA was contacted about another incident where an employee suffered a partial hand amputation while performing machine maintenance.

"With the proper machine guarding in place, this company could have prevented these needless, life-altering injuries," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office.

The willful violation reflects the company's failure to use danger tags and proper guards on machinery to warn and protect employees from burn hazards.

The repeat violation was due to a lack of machine guarding to protect operators from hazards created by ingoing nip points and rotating parts. The company was cited for the same violation in December 2011.

The serious violations include:

  • Lack of a midrail on an aerial lift work platform.
  • Lack of standard railings on an open-sided platform more than 4 feet above a lower level.
  • Liquefied petroleum gas containers not stored properly.
  • Lack of danger tags to warn of burn hazards on dry can rollers.
  • Inadequate lockout/tagout procedures and training for controlling hazardous energy.
  • Lack of training for employees operating powered industrial trucks.
  • Powered industrial truck left unattended with elevated forks.
  • Lack of guards for rotating shafts and portable grinder.

The citations can be viewed at:*.