An aeronautical company did not improperly protect a machine that crushed an operator's finger, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission held Monday in a unanimous decision.
In Secretary of Labor v. Aerospace Testing Alliance the entire Commission returned an administrative judge's holding and the citation of $ 6300. while driving a power shear in a metal shop at an air force base in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Following the accident, a U.S. health and safety inspector issued a serious complaint for failing to properly protect the machine and proposed a $ 6,300 penalty.
The company appealed the quote, but a judge in the administrative court found that aerospace testing violates the Work Environment Act by exposing employees "to crushing / amputation risks when surveillance was not provided on the pistons."
The company appealed to the OSHRC, which found that the administrative judge erroneously gave decisive weight to the testimony of the injured worker. Aerospace Testing did not deny that the pistons posed a crushing risk, but said the guards were adequate, even if they did not prevent workers from deliberately circumventing it. Three workers testified that the shear does not require the operator's hands to approach the piston guards, nor does it require a worker to place his fingers under the cover.
Although the judge noted that the injured worker was credible because his behavior was "calm and relentless", the Commission found inconsistencies in his testimony and that it contradicted the other three operators who testified that workers would have to remove their gloves for to be able to intentionally place the fingers under the guards.
As a result, the Commission considered that the US Secretary of Labor failed to establish that the guards did not follow.