Quality Blow Molding Inc. has been fined $171,270 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations.
A 21-year-old worker suffered amputations to four fingers on his right hand as a result of an incident on March 2 at the Quality Blow Molding plant in Elyria, Ohio. OSHA stated the company did not properly train the employee on safety and it did not report the accident.
An OSHA spokesman said the fine was stiffer than normal because OSHA cited the company for similar violations in 2014 and 2010 at the same facility.
In the most recent incident, Quality Blow Molding was cited for two willful, two repeated and one other-than-serious violations. The company also was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, in which OSHA concentrates resources on inspecting employers ”who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations,” the agency explains in an instruction from the federal Department of Labor.
The injured worker was a new employee who had been on the job for only a few hours when he tried to clear a jam in a blow molding machine. In addition to the loss of four fingers, he suffered severe burns on his hand. OSHA said the business molds bottles, golf tees and other plastic items.
Quality Blow Molding officials were not immediately available to comment on the fine and incident.
“A preventable and unforgivable injury has changed this young man's life,” said Kimberly Nelson, OSHA's director for the Toledo area, in an Aug. 13 news release. “For the second time in two years, Quality Blow Molding intentionally and willfully disregarded OSHA standards and requirements for machine safety.”
OSHA found the company failed to implement procedures to prevent machines from starting up during service and maintenance, and it did not train workers on safety procedures or install machine guards on horizontal lathes. These types of violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA.
Quality Blow Molding has 15 business days from Aug. 12 to respond to the charges.