$515K Fine After Three Amputations in Three Months at Ohio Company

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By Alex Ebert

An Ohio garage door manufacturer faces $515,754 in penalties stemming from several alleged safety violations, including three amputations in a three month period.

OSHA issued citations April 24 to Napoleon Spring Works, Inc. for two willful, eight serious and seven repeat alleged violations of safety standards, which include failure to use guards and proper procedures for machinery that led to finger amputations and crushing.

OSHA also cited the company on December 20, 2016, for three alleged serious safety violations connected with another worker losing a finger caught between a sprocket and chain. Inspections in October and November 2016 found that the company had abated hazards discovered in 2013 but had not applied those procedures to other equipment, according to an OSHA statement.

Employees suffered amputated or crushed fingers on Sept. 7, Nov. 1 and Nov. 21 at the facility in 2016, Department of Labor spokeswoman Rhonda Burke told Bloomberg BNA. Due to alleged safety oversights, one employee’s finger was caught in a mechanical power press and another employee’s finger was partially amputated while troubleshooting a hinge machine, Burke said.

In other citations, employees were exposed to electrical hazards and were not wearing proper safety equipment when handling electrical equipment, and forklift drivers’ performance had not been evaluated in the last three years. Repeat violations also included employees not using proper lock-out methods for machines and failing to follow energy control procedures.

The company is contesting citations in relation to the September amputation. The company has not yet notified OSHA whether it will contest the citations issued April 24.

Napoleon Spring Works was incorporated in 1963. In 1987 it merged with Lynx U.S.A., Inc., which operates garage door and parts manufacturing facilities in Canada, New Jersey and Arizona.

Napoleon Spring Works did not respond to phone call or email requests for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ebert in Columbus, Ohio at aebert@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Connolly at PConnolly@bna.com

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