Metals manufacturing plant faces OSHA fines

May 10, 2005

An Attleboro, Mass., metals manufacturing plant faces $89,100 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following an Oct. 10, 2004, accident in which an employee suffered crushing injuries after being dragged into a metal forming machine.

Engineered Materials Solutions Inc. was cited for a total of 29 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following safety and health inspections conducted between Oct. 19, 2004, and Feb. 17, 2005.

Regarding the accident, the safety inspection found that the machine had not been guarded to prevent employees from being caught in its moving parts. In addition, the company had not established and enforced lockout/tagout procedures for employees performing cleaning and maintenance work on the machine.

Additional conditions cited during the safety inspection included numerous instances of unguarded machinery; exposed, live electrical parts; ungrounded electrical equipment; lack of required eyewash stations and face protection for employees; slings not marked to show their lifting capacity; missing stair rails; and a flammable storage cabinet that did not meet minimal fire resistance requirements.

A concurrent OSHA health inspection identified several hazards involving cadmium, an extremely toxic metal. These included employee exposure to excess levels of cadmium; ineffective steps to reduce exposure levels; inadequate monitoring of workers for exposure; cadmium-contaminated surfaces in the break room, change room, and other locations; inadequate or improper methods of cleaning up cadmium; and an incomplete cadmium compliance plan.