The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Horn Packaging Corp. for 12 alleged safety violations following the death of a worker at the Lancaster-based packaging manufacturer's facility. The worker was fatally injured on Nov. 7, 2011, while operating a corrugated box-making machine when he became entangled in an unguarded drive shaft that provides power to the machine.
A willful citation was issued for a violation involving the unguarded shaft, which lacked proper protection to prevent workers from being exposed to its moving parts. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
"This case starkly shows the grave consequences from unguarded moving machine parts," says Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director for central and western Massachusetts. "Proper safeguards could have prevented the needless and tragic loss of a worker's life."
Additionally, 11 serious violations involve a failure to prevent other machine guarding hazards, develop and implement a written chemical hazard communication program, provide worker training, cover electrical junction boxes and address several deficiencies in the hazardous energy control program, which is designed to prevent machinery from unintentionally starting up during maintenance. 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.
The citations can be viewed at www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HornPackagingCo_315516005_0502_12.pdf*.
Horn Packaging Corp., which faces a total of $130,300 in proposed fines, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Springfield Area Office at 413-785-0123.
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 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 www.osha.gov.