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Amputation risk and other hazards identified at Ohio glass plant

The Ohio-based Fuyao Glass America is a massive facility at which the number of contractors and employees total 1,500. Being charged with the safety of so many workers is an enormous responsibility. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the agency had received several reports of unsafe conditions that posed amputation risk and other threats. OSHA said no violations were found to substantiate two of the reports. A third complaint led to a citation, and another one is still being investigated.

During an inspection that was launched in October 2015, investigators found several unsecured covers on service trenches below the ovens. Failing to secure the covers could allow unintentional displacement of the covers. Exposed trenches pose severe safety hazards to workers moving about the plant.

Other serious violations that were identified involve the lack of guards on several machines. Allowing employees to operate machines with open and accessible working parts can cause severe injuries that may even include amputations. The hazards that were identified at points of operation included rotating parts, ingoing nip points, and flying sparks and chips. Although some of the danger points were addressed while OSHA investigators were still at the plant, many others will need immediate attention to avoid workers' injuries.

Ohio workers have rights that allow them to insist on safe working environments and to report safety hazards that are left unaddressed. After suffering a workplace injury of any severity -- regardless of whether it is an amputation or a sprained ankle -- victims may pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance system. In cases in which time off work results from workplace accidents, compensation benefits will include lost income, along with the coverage of medical expenses.

Source: glassbytes.com, "OSHA Issues Citation to Fuyao Glass America", Jenna Reed, April 22, 2016

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