For the second time this year, Interlake Mecalux Inc. is facing citations for exposing workers to amputation hazards by failing to have adequate guards on dangerous machinery.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found two repeat and two serious violations following a March 2014 inspection at the company’s Pontiac, IL, plant.
In February, Interlake Mecalux, which manufactures storage and racking systems, received citations for exposing workers to similar amputation hazards at its Melrose Park plant. OSHA proposed additional penalties of $47,520.
“Interlake Mecalux continues to put its employees at risk of amputation and death by not correcting known dangers at all locations,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “When a company is cited at one of its locations, it has the responsibility to improve and correct similar violations at all its plants.”
OSHA cited Interlake with a repeat violation for failure to provide required machine guarding and protect workers adequately from moving machine parts during servicing and/or maintenance, which is a primary cause of amputations. The complaint inspection fell under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputation Hazards.
A second repeat violation was for failing to label containers containing hazardous chemicals properly. The company also received citation for violation in February. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of any standard, operation, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
In addition there were two serious safety violations issued for failing to lock a high-voltage electrical room, so that only qualified people could enter and use an unsafe electrical box. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.