Boiler manufacturer, Gaspar Inc., is facing $112,000 in fines for two willful violations for requiring employees at its Canton, OH, plant to operate two press brakes and a horizontal boring machine with no machine guards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The goal of machine guarding is to protect workers from lacerations, caught-in and amputation hazards.
“It is unacceptable that Gaspar would expose workers to the hazards of unguarded machinery each day,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “The company was previously cited for these hazards. Then, it removed protections it had installed. These actions demonstrate a willful lack of concern for employee safety. Injuries involving machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability, and OSHA continues to focus on identifying and eliminating these types of hazards.”
OSHA issued two willful citations for lack of machine guarding on a horizontal boring mill and two press brakes. OSHA last inspected the company in 2011 and cited the same violations. Gaspar had provided documentation showing they installed guarding on the equipment. OSHA’s latest investigation found the company had removed the installed guarding.
A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health.
Due to the violations found at the site, the company is now in the OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities or job sites.