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General Electric cited for exposing workers to amputation hazards

A lamp manufacturing plant owned by General Electric in Ohio was the recipient of citations for five safety violations that were identified during an inspection at the Circleville facility. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that the company's employees were working in conditions in which amputation hazards exist. The employees were reportedly also exposed to multiple risks of suffering various other serious injuries.

OSHA investigators found that workers were not protected from dangerous moving parts on conveyor belts and machines due to the lack of safety guards. Furthermore, no lockout/tagout procedures were in place to prevent accidental startups of equipment during maintenance, repairs or cleaning. The proposed penalties totaled $88,000.

According to OSHA, these violations of prescribed safety regulations are some of the most frequently cited issues nationwide. By installing required lockout/tagout devices and safeguards around working machine parts, amputation injuries and even fatalities can be prevented. However, some employers continue to expose their workers to these life-threatening hazards. OSHA says 266 workers suffered amputation injuries in Ohio in 2015.

After an amputation injury, a worker may be unable to continue doing the same work -- even if the injury is only a finger amputation. This may have a severe impact on a person's ability to care for his or her family. Fortunately, injured workers may pursue financial assistance and vocational training through the Ohio workers' compensation insurance system. Along with compensation for medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages, vocational training can equip an amputation victim with new skills to master a new job.

Source: ohsonline.com, "GE Lamp Plant Cited for Serious Violations", April 26, 2016

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