Federal safety officials have alleged that for at least two years, an Ohio manufacturer of thermoplastic lining systems for truck bodies and trailers exposed workers to the risk of amputation and other serious injury by disabling safety devices to speed production.
On Oct. 26, 2016, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one willful, two repeated and six serious citations, and one other-than-serious citation for safety violations to Ridge Corporation. The Pataskala-based manufacturer faces proposed penalties of $214,857.
OSHA said that its investigation found the company deactivated light curtains that prevent workers from coming in contact with operating machine parts. Investigators determined Ridge disabled the devices to produce products more quickly.
In 2015, OSHA cited the company for a lack of machine safety procedures and for failing to require employees to wear gloves when handling materials at its Frazeyburg facility.
OSHA’s complaint investigation found Ridge Corporation failed to:
- Install machine guards on multiple pieces of equipment.
- Remove defective forklifts from service.
- Cover exposed electrical connections.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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