The US Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld lawsuits and $87,963 in fines issued to a rubber manufacturer after a worker’s arm was amputated.
The commission, in a decision published Thursday, upheld citations and penalties against Trenton, New Jersey-based Denaka Partners LP over a December 2020 incident in which an employee’s arm was severed when his shirt sleeve was pulled into a grinder.
An inspector issued summonses alleging serious and willful violations of machine guarding standards, a failure to timely offer Hepatitis B vaccinations to employees, and failure to provide an occupational exposure education program to employees exposed to bloodborne pathogens.
The company contested the referrals in July 2021.
The review commission upheld the willful offense referred to the bloodborne pathogen remediation training, writing that while the company offered some level of training, it still acted with “intentional, knowing or willful disregard” of OSHA’s complete bloodborne pathogen training standards.
The commission downgraded the hepatitis B vaccination violation from willful to serious, finding that while the company offered the post-exposure vaccine as opposed to earlier, it did not act with “clear indifference to employee safety.”
The commission also upheld the machine guarding violation lawsuit, finding that the company failed to take corrective action after a previous amputation incident.