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Amputations spur OSHA safety citations


A New Jersey medical technology company faces $112,700 in proposed penalties from federal workplace safety regulators after two workers suffered finger amputations.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based Becton, Dickinson & Co. for one repeat and 12 serious violations related to the injuries, which occurred last October at a Nebraska facility, the agency said Tuesday.

The company failed to provide gates on platforms and ladder ways to prevent falls, proper machine guarding to prevent contact with moving parts and protection at a forklift charging station where electrical and fire hazards existed, according to OSHA. Becton also failed to provide an eye-washing station for employees exposed to corrosive materials, and locking and blocking devices to prevent unexpected machine starts and operation, according to the agency.

OSHA previously cited the company for machine hazards at the same facility in April and September 2015, OSHA said.

“In 2015, a total of 52 Nebraska workers suffered preventable amputation injuries,” Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in Omaha, said in a statement. “OSHA's common sense safety standards require manufacturers to provide training, safeguards and procedures to prevent workers from coming in contact with the operating parts of a machine. Employers like BD must do more to protect workers from these debilitating injuries.”

BD takes its “associates' health and safety very seriously and has cooperated fully with OSHA during its inspection at our facility in Holdrege, Nebraska,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “At the completion of the inspection, BD immediately began to implement corrective actions to address all issues identified. We are confident that all corrective actions will be implemented within OSHA's timelines.”

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