Severe Violator Program Tag Added When Multiple Amputations Reported
OSHA’s Severe Violator Program Tag was assigned after an October 21st, 2016, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections where it issued citations to Ohio-based automotive appliance manufacturer, Milark Industries Inc., for multiple violations. These included 3 willful and 3 serious violations. The citations stem from multiple incidents, which have occurred at various Milark Industries locations, dating back to 2015. All said, OSHA has conducted 10 separate investigations of the company, since 2007. The most recent investigation, which was conducted in June 2016, followed an incident at a Mansfield facility, where a 22-year old employee suffered partial amputation of two fingers on his left hand. The injury came on the aforementioned employee’s first day of work and is not the first of its kind. In September of 2015, a 19-year old worker suffered a similar amputation of four fingers on his right hand. In addition to these amputation injuries, other incidents have been logged where employees have suffered lacerations in the Milark Industries workplace. The proposed penalty for these citations is $536,249. One stipulation of the recent citations is that Milark Industries has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, a program intended to assist recalcitrant violators in reform.
OSHA findings from the June investigation yielded the following violations resulting in the severe violator program tag:
- Failure to lockout robotic welding cells and tube bender
- Bypass of safety interlocks
- Bypass of safety devices during maintenance
- Failure to incorporate lockout/tagout system for employees
Kim Nelson, OSHA Toledo area director, said, “Milark Industries continues to create an environment where employees are allowed to bypass machine safety procedures, and are threatened to be disciplined if they don’t meet the production quotas. By doing so, the company is creating an unacceptable culture of risk and getting people hurt on the job.”
Recurrent violations, especially those which place the lives of employees in severe danger, are unacceptable. The severe violator program causes OSHA to inspect companies more often and assess greater fines if needed. One resource that safety leaders can utilize to eliminate the recurrence of violations in the workplace is an OSHA-approved training course.