An employee of the Accurate Box Company’s 5th Avenue facility entered a die cutting machine to complete maintenance, while another employee, unaware the victim was inside, activated the machine. An employee of 26 years was crushed.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an investigation in May 2014 after the employee sustained severe internal injuries. For the third time since 2010 the company was found to have not implemented an effective lockout/tagout program which would have prevented inadvertent machine activation.
“This case clearly highlights why lockout/tagout and machine guarding measures are essential, especially in preventing amputation and crushing injuries,” director of the administration Lisa Levy of the Hasbrouck Heights Area Office said. “If OSHA’s safety standards for machinery were implemented, this incident would not have occurred.”
Machine guarding was not provided to protect operators from accidents, according to OSHA. The company which makes corrugated boxes for sale to large retailers like Walmart was cited for a repeat violation that carries a penalty of $13,860.
The manufacturer was cited three times for machine guarding hazards and lockout/tagout deficiencies at its city plant. A repeat violation is issued when a company was previously cited for similar violation of standard, rule, regulation, or order at any of its facility under federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Investigators also found four serious violations related to lockout/tagout deficiencies. The company was also cited for the violations carrying a $27,720 penalty. “A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,” according to OSHA.
The company which was recently awarded approximately $40 million in tax credits over a 10-year period to stay in the city has 15 business days from receipt to comply or request a conference with the director of OSHA to contest the violations.