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A Seattle-based company that manufactures electronics mounting systems and other products is facing more than $250,000 in fines for multiple serious and willful worker safety and health violations at two worksites, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries said Wednesday.
Inspectors visiting undisclosed National Products Inc. sites found “numerous violations” during three separate inspections this year following an incident where a worker was burned by molten aluminum and another had to have several fingers amputated, the department said in a statement.
The inspections identified 26 total violations including multiple serious and willful violations collectively resulting in fines totaling $253,320, according to the department. It was not the first set of violations for the company, which is now listed as a “severe violator,” according to the statement.
“We’ve cited this employer before for several of these very serious hazards, but the company continues to put its workers at risk,” Anne Soiza, the department’s assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said in the statement.
The amputations, which involved several fingers of one worker, occurred in a facility where there were five trimming presses, each of which was in some sort of disrepair. Among other problems each machine had an emergency stop button that was either blocked, missing or in disrepair. Worn-out and unaligned springs that made the operator visually line up levers were a contributing factor in the injury, according to the statement.
The burn injury happened at another National Products facility where workers were carrying molten aluminum from one machine to another in ladles slung over their backs, and they were not wearing proper personal protection equipment, according to the statement.
Officials at National Products could not immediately be reached for comment.
National data has shown that nearly 50% of adult burn patients do not return to work two years after injury and 28% never return to work, according to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, which announced on Friday its partnership with Harborview Medical Center in the creation of a center of excellence for workers burned on the job.