An Ohio manufacturer of thermoplastic lining systems for truck bodies and trailers exposed workers to the risk of amputation and other serious injury for at least two years by disabling safety devices to speed production, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Investigators issued $214,857 in fines for one willful, two repeated and six serious citations, and one other-than-serious citation for safety violations to Pataskala, OH-based Ridge Corporation.
In its investigation, the agency found the company deactivated light curtains that prevent workers from coming in contact with operating machine parts. Investigators determined Ridge disabled the devices to produce products more quickly.
In 2015, OSHA cited the company for a lack of machine safety procedures and for failing to require employees to wear gloves when handling materials at its Frazeyburg facility.
“OSHA’s investigation found the company’s leadership created a culture that routinely tolerated willful and serious safety violations in favor of production,” said Larry Johnson, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “When companies prioritize profit over the health and safety of their workforce, too often it is the workers that pay the price. Lack of machine safety procedures injury hundreds of workers each year and continue to be among the most frequently cited by OSHA.”
OSHA complaint investigation found Ridge Corporation failed to:
• Install machine guards on multiple pieces of equipment
• Remove defective forklifts from service
• Cover exposed electrical connections