OSHA Fines Laundry Equipment Manufacturer after Amputation

OSHA has fined Alliance Laundry Systems after the company returned a hydraulic press to operation without machine safety guards, resulting in an amputation.

The amputation injury, which occurred on July 20 2016, was the second amputation injury at the global laundry equipment manufacturer in less than two months.

The agency fined the company $124,709, citing one willful safety violation because a hydraulic press was in operation without safety guarding, resulting in a 65-year-old employee’s right middle finger tip being amputated as he lowered a press used to square parts for washing machines and dryers.

In a previous investigation, OSHA discovered a grommet cutting machine severed a 26-year-old employee’s right index finger on June 3, 2016. In that case, the agency issued four serious violations to Alliance in July 2016.

These two cases aren’t the company’s first experience with amputation injuries. In another incident, which occurred on Aug. 12, 2015, a 51-year-old employee’s right hand was crushed when he came in contact with operating parts of a folding machine. The injury resulted in the amputation of his right middle finger.

In 2015, OSHA received reports of more than 2,600 amputations nationwide. Machine guarding landed in the eighth spot on the agency’s most cited violations in 2016, something the agency says contributes directly to most amputation causes. Lockout/tagout citations were in the number five spot.