In Florida, a fiber manufacturing employee who had only worked at his new job for three days had his hand mangled because of an existing hazard that his employer could have corrected. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) levied fines and citations onto the company but it was too late for this worker.
Southern Fiber Inc. allowed a new hire to clear a jam in a fiber-processing machine without guards. The machine started up while the employee was clearing it and the worker had his hand de-gloved. The company was charged with one willful violation for failing to establish an energy control program or place energy control devices on machines to prevent them from starting up unexpectedly when they were being cleaned or serviced.
They were also given 14 serious violations for failing to keep employees safe from fall hazards, having blocked exits, failing to distribute protective gloves to employees working with ovens, failing to have the proper machine guards in place, and several other repeat or other-than-serious violations which can be found here. In all they received 21 citations and have been fined $116,270.
This company has been cited before for failing to place guards on machines so that workers won’t be struck by moving parts, failing to train workers on how to use fire extinguishers, and for allowing workers to use forklifts without training.
The company has been inspected a dozen times in the past five years and been cited with 39 violations. OSHA has proposed they be placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program which would require them to undergo follow-up inspections that target highly emphasized hazards present in worksites like fall hazards or other specific hazards that have been identified by the agency.