October 1, 2018
NORWALK, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited American Excelsior Company – based in Norwalk, Ohio – for machine guarding hazards after an employee required hospitalization when he suffered a crushed arm. Proposed penalties total $213,411.
OSHA investigators determined that the employee sustained injuries when the machine began operating while he removed product build-up. OSHA cited the company, which manufactures biodegradable erosion control blankets, for failing to develop or implement energy control procedures to prevent unintentional machine start-up during maintenance, and train employees in energy control procedures. American Excelsior Company received citations for similar violations at its Rice Lake, Wisconsin, plant in 2017. OSHA has also placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“This employer failed to implement safety procedures to prevent known hazards,” said OSHA Toledo Area Office Director Kimberly Nelson. “This injury could have been avoided if machine locking devices had been installed.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.