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Department Of Labor: Workers Exposed To Amputation And Electrical Hazards At El Paso Plant

EL PASO, Texas – The Department of Labor reports a federal inspection prompted by employee complaints found workers exposed to amputations and other hazards at D&D Manufacturing Inc. The El Paso company has been cited for 41 safety and health violations, including 36 serious violations, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“Workers were at risk of serious injuries because D&D Manufacturing failed to guard mechanical and hydraulic presses and to ensure machines were de-energized during maintenance,” said Joann Figueroa, OSHA’s area director in El Paso. “Federal standards addressing these hazards have existed for decades. D&D’s failure to follow these safety and health requirements is unacceptable.”

With a penalty of $177,300, the 36 serious violations were cited for failure to provide adequate machine guarding; properly inspect power presses; and utilize proper procedures to de-energize equipment during maintenance, including punch presses. The employer also failed to implement an effective hearing conservation program for noise levels in excess of 85 decibels; did not provide proper maintenance on conductors with damaged insulation; and exposed workers to live electrical parts. 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 remaining five violations, with a $4,500 penalty, included citations for failure to assess the need for personal protective equipment; educate workers on the voluntary use of respiratory protection; implement a written hazard communication program; and certify training of forklift operators. Additionally, the employer was issued a hazard letter addressing slip hazards and obstructions in aisles and walkways.

To improve safety for workers, OSHA has established a National Emphasis Program on amputations.

View the citations at http://www.dol.gov/osha/pdf/D-and-D-Manufacturing-Inc.pdf.

Headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, D&D Manufacturing fabricates stamped metal components for equipment manufacturers and employs about 37 workers in El Paso. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s El Paso area director, or contest the citations and penalties 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 El Paso office at 915-534-6251.

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 http://www.osha.gov.

Information from: Department of Labor