Chicago Plant Faces $80,000 Penalties For Workplace Accidents

At a Chicago metal container manufacturing plant, a worker lost the tip of his finger last fall. The worker was the third person to meet an accident that required amputation in the facility within the last 17 months. Because of the frequency of accidents, the federal safety investigators proposed more than $81,000 as penalties for the most recent of the injuries alone.

How did the accident happen? There was a machine which the 52-year old temporary worker was trying to clear when the machine unfortunately sliced off the top of the middle finger. According to the United States Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the BWAY Plant at 3200 S. Kilbourn Avenue, Chicago Little Village neighbourhood, the machine guards were improperly installed. Neither was the workers given the proper instructions on how to prevent the machine parts from moving.

According to the investigators of OSHA, the middle tip of a 65-year old employee’s finger was sliced off by the same machine in August 2015. In October, 2015, 2 months after the previous accident, a 52-year old worker also suffered the loss of the tip of his index finger while he was cleaning the machine at the plant.

Amputations are some of the most common accidents in the workplace particularly in manufacturing plants. A total number of 10,388 severe work-related accidents were reported to OSHA in 2015; 2,644 were amputations with 57% of the amputations occurring in manufacturing workplaces.

BWAY’s Little Village plant manufactures paint and food cans including steel head pails. The company has about 28 facilities in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. BWAY was given 15 days from the issuance of the citations last December 15 to pay the penalties. Within the 15 days notice, BWAY can request for an informal conference with OSHA area director to contest the findings before an independent commission.

If your company requires assistance in the design of health and safety plans according to the requirements of your business, do not hesitate to call on professional health & safety consultants. Safety in the workplace can be managed regardless of the size and type of business.