Man loses arm after being caught in machine with no safety guards

Workplace safety should be a priority for all employers. Employees have the right to be protected from serious injuries during the course of employment. They should never have to risk their health and safety in order to make a living. Every worker has a right to expect that industrial equipment will be properly maintained, safety guards will be in place, and their employer will provide them with sufficient training. Unfortunately, many employees still suffer job-related injuries as a result of workplace accidents.

OSHA recently cited a Florida company, Prologix Distribution Services-East LLC, a magazine and book distributor and recycler, for 14 safety violations after a worker's right arm was amputated when it became trapped in a machine with disabled safety guards.

In August 2010, the employee's arm became caught in moving machinery parts at the company's Doral, Florida, facility, resulting in his right arm being amputated to the elbow.

After its investigation of the accident, OSHA cited Prologix for three worker safety violations classified as willful. A willful violation is issued when an employer demonstrates either an intentional disregard of the law or plain indifference to the health and safety of its workers.

OSHA found that the company had allowed the access guard doors to the machine to remain fully open while the machine was in operation. OSHA also found that the company had no lockout procedures to prevent accidental start-up of the machines, and did not properly train employees on safety procedures for such an event. The proposed penalties for these violations total $210,000.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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