The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has fined a Seattle company that manufactures electronics mounting systems and other products more than $250,000 for multiple serious and willful worker safety and health violations.
National Products, Inc. was cited after investigators found numerous violations during three separate inspections this year.
L&I opened one of the inspections after a worker was burned by molten aluminum. Another inspection followed amputation injuries at another National Products work site. The inspections identified 26 total violations, including multiple serious and willful violations collectively resulting in fines totaling $253,320.
L&I said the employer has been cited before for several of these very serious hazards, but “the company continues to put its workers at risk”, according to Anne Soiza, L&I’s assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
One employee working at the trimming presses had 3 fingers amputated, and according to L&I, among other problems each machine had an emergency stop button that was either blocked, missing, or in disrepair. Worn out and unaligned springs that made the operator visually line up levers were a contributing factor in the injury.
The burn injury happened at another National Products facility where workers were carrying molten aluminum from one machine to another in ladles slung over their backs, and they were not wearing proper personal protection equipment.
The company is now considered a severe violator — a designation that carries consequences, such as follow-up inspections at any of its facilities or sites that could have similar hazards.