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A Wisconsin muffler component manufacturer faces proposed penalties of $219,242 from federal safety regulators after two employees were severely injured within 10 days of each other while operating machinery last year.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one willful, one repeated, two serious and one other-than-serious violation to Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Bay Fabrication Inc., a subsidiary of Bay Family of Companies.
One worker’s left hand was crushed on July 21 when a tamp head smashed his hand as he removed a mold from a molding machine, OSHA said in a statement Wednesday. Investigators determined the machine’s safety interlock on the door guarding the operating parts was damaged and functioning improperly, which disabled the safety guard.
On July 30, another worker suffered a partial amputation of his left middle finger when a molding machine cycled and caught his finger in an unguarded pinch point, OSHA said. Investigators found that the machine was not locked out as required.
In addition, OSHA said Bay Fabrication failed to guard operating parts on machines, improperly installed safety guards and failed to record work-related injuries on illness and injury logs.
“The fact that two workers suffered debilitating injuries is tragic,” said Robert Bonack, area director for OSHA’s Appleton, Wisconsin, office, in a statement. “The reality is that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazards even after these injuries. Adequate and properly installed machine safety guards and lock-out/tag-out procedures must be in place to prevent workers from coming in contact with operating parts.”
In a statement sent to Business Insurance Thursday, Bay Fabrication said it is "currently reviewing the matter and next steps."
"The company takes our obligations regarding the safety of our workforce very seriously," the statement reads. "The company has an excellent long-term track record in safety and we pride ourselves in the success of our safety program."
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued recommended practices to guard against retaliation against employees reporting workplace safety concerns.