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Interlake Mecalux Inc., a manufacturer of storage and racking systems, faces $71,700 in fines for 17 serious safety violations at its Melrose Park, IL, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigated the facility after an October complaint.

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“Interlake Mecalux workers were exposed to dangerous hazards daily, putting them at risk of amputation due to a lack of required safeguards,” said Angie Loftus, OSHA’s area director for the Chicago North Office in Des Plaines. “The company must identify and correct workplace hazards and provide workers with required safety training.”

The failure to provide required machine guarding and protect workers adequately from moving machine parts during servicing and/or maintenance activities are primary causes of amputations. In 2012, more than 5,000 workers suffered an amputation injury on the job.

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The complaint inspection came under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on amputation hazards.

The company is facing 11 serious safety violations, including exposing workers to amputation hazards by failing to protect workers adequately through lockout/tag out devices during machinery servicing; failing to train workers in energy control procedures; failing to inspect procedures annually; and lack of machine guarding on presses and other mechanical equipment.

Other serious violations involve issues, such as unguarded floor and wall openings exposing workers to fall hazards; failing to provide electrical personal protective equipment for employees doing electrical work; and use of damaged extension cords.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Additionally, the company is facing citations for six other-than-serious violations for improper use of ladders and failing to maintain records on crane inspections and maintenance. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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