OSHA Fines Garage Door Spring Manufacturer Napoleon/Lynx $147K for Exposing Employees to Amputation Hazards

Napoleon/Lynx, a manufacturer of garage door components, is facing $147,600 in fines for 16 safety violations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The safety hazards range from failure to provide adequate hazardous control procedures to more serious hazards that could lead to amputation from machine operation.

“Our inspection found that employees were exposed to injury and amputation risk in this facility because of insufficient guarding at the point of operation of various machines,” said OSHA Area Director Kim Nelson. “Amputation hazards are one of the leading causes of injury in manufacturing.”

OSHA cited the manufacturer, a subsidiary of Canada-based Lynx Industries, for 15 serious violations and one willful violation for failing to guard two of the company’s mechanical power presses. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements or with plain indifference to employee safety and health, according to an OSHA press release.

OSHA Fines Garage Door Spring Manufacturer Napoleon/Lynx $147K for Exposing Employees to Amputation Hazards

 “There’s no excuse for a company to put an employer in harm’s way for any reason,” OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen told the source. “When [a machine safety guard] is removed for the benefit of production speed, OSHA is going to fine the company for unacceptable behavior.”

Prompted by complaints alleging multiple safety hazards, OSHA’s April inspection was expanded under OSHA’s national emphasis program on amputations and local emphasis program for powered industrial vehicles.

The 15 serious violations included failing to periodically inspect energy-control procedures; providing sufficient energy-control procedures; training workers in lockout/Tagout procedures to control unexpected equipment energization; guarding mechanical power presses and riveters; conducting periodic inspections of presses; and training workers on the safe operation of presses.

Additional violations involved failing to train and evaluate the safe operation of powered industrial trucks and ensure truck examinations prior to shifting use; establishing safe clearance around electrical boxes; lockout circuits during maintenance to prevent exposure to live electricity, and maintaining written de-energizing procedures. A serious violation occurs when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Napleon_Spring_Works_905594_1011_13.pdf

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent OSHA Review Commission.

Napoleon/Lynx employs 105 at its Archbold, Ohio, plant and 160 more at its operations in Arizona and New Jersey. The company’s headquarters is in St. Lambert, Quebec, Canada.