OSHA proposes $412k fine for Texas facility where employee lost two fingers, alleges ‘willful’ endangerment

Texas

EL PASO, Tx. (WVLA) – A metal stamping manufacturing facility in El Paso, Texas with a history of safety citations is facing a proposed $412,750 fine for safety violations the U.S. Department of Labor describes as “willfully expos[ing] workers to amputation dangers” which resulted in an employee losing two fingers in a 500-ton hydraulic press.

After an inspection earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Illinois-based D&D Manufacturing Inc., which owns the El Paso facility, for several safety issues over the course of at least two separate safety inspections earlier this year.

A detailed list of citations most of which OSHA classified as serious included the operation of a forklift the tires on which were “cracked and worn (down to the metal),” exposed live electrical wires on hydraulic presses, hazardous chemicals in unlabeled containers, and failure to provide annual hearing tests to employees exposed to high decibel levels on a regular basis.

inspectors also reported serious hazards that met OSHA’s definition of “willful” violations. D&D Manufacturing was cited for failing to repair a 500-ton hydraulic press that had a broken ram which “drifted downward on its own” according to OSHA. The lubricating spray nozzle attached to that same press was broken which lead to employees applying the Perdraw lube manually.

Additionally, guards that prevent employees from reaching into hydraulic presses were not attached to two machines. Inspectors also noted that on some presses employees were weighing or tying down buttons meant to ensure that both of the machine’s operators hands were on the controls.

The El Paso facility, which employees approximately 60 workers, was previously cited in 2014 and 2015 for serious and willful safety violations – some of which were similar to the ones found by inspectors this year.

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