While investigating one serious employee injury in May 2016, at PECOFacet, inspectors with OSHA found themselves investigating a second incident in which another employee was hurt seriously three days after they arrived.
The agency opened its initial investigation on May 3, 2016, after an employee suffered a finger amputation when a part of metal plate being fabricated fell on the worker's finger while the employee was still in training. On May 6 a 1,300-pound metal product being fabricated fell on an employee's feet causing serious injuries.
OSHA's investigation of both incidents found workers operating machinery without point of operation and safety guards and emergency stop switches. The agency issued citations and proposed fines of $224,477. In addition to lacking machine guards and stop switches inspectors found 21 serious violations for:
- Allowing equipment to operate without safety latches.
- Permitting the use of non-compliant crane equipment.
- Failing to address electrical hazards.
- Not having guard rails on elevated surfaces.
- Failing to mark emergency exits.
- Ladders not meeting specification requirements and not maintained.
- Lock out/tag out procedures not developed or implemented.
- Horizontal belts and shafts not guarded.
"No worker should suffer amputation or be struck-by product at a large manufacturer such as PECOFacet. The number of violations at this facility is astounding," said Jack Rector, OSHA's Fort Worth Area Director. "This employer is responsible for the protection and safety of its workers from these types of life-altering injuries."
Headquartered in Mineral Wells, PECOFacet manufactures filter housings, filter cartridges, water separator systems, sewage water treatments and has on-site testing facilities. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.