Worker Amputation Leads To Fed Fining Manufactuer

A Sullivan, Illinois, manufacturer has been fined by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for three repeated workplace safety violations. The federal fines come after a worker suffered an amputation injury at Agri-Fab Inc. work facility last fall.

“Agri-Fab has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in its workplace and ensure employees are properly trained in the safe operation and maintenance of equipment they are required to use,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

The company manufactures attachments for the lawn and garden industry such as lawn mowers spreaders, and sweepers. Agri-Fab was cited for failing to use proper energy control procedures and lockout/tagout devices on machines. Failure to adhere to these safety standards creates a risk that machines unexpectedly turn on and harm workers.

Industrial injuries such as amputation injuries typically qualify an employee for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include medical expenses, lost wages and retraining needs created from a workplace accident or illness. An attorney is not required to file for workers’ comp benefits, but many workers who aren’t represented by lawyers make mistakes which end up reducing the amount that they recover.

Source: OSHA, “US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Agri-Fab for 3 repeat safety violations at Sullivan, Ill., manufacturing plant after worker suffers amputation injury,” Mar. 6, 2013