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EP Heller Co., which manufactures and services carbide steel cutting tools, is facing $56,000 in fines for two willful and 11 serious violations at its Madison, NJ, facility, according to officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA initiated an investigation on Oct. 8 in response to a complaint and found two willful violations against EP Heller Co. for failing to properly guard machinery to protect employees from possible amputations.

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A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

“OSHA previously cited this company for the same amputation hazards involving the same machinery, yet it continues to jeopardize worker safety by not ensuring the proper safeguards are in place. The proposed penalties in this case reflect the severe nature of the cited hazards,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “OSHA remains committed to holding companies legally accountable for failing to uphold their responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace.”

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OSHA inspectors also identified 11 serious violations for hazards including workers not medically evaluated, fit tested, and trained on the respirators provided for protection against metal dust, and lack of guarding on grinding machinery.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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