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Investigation of Amputation Finds Ohio Carpet Manufacturer Again Ignored Safety Standards

The company faces over $234,000 in proposed OSHA penalties.

Injury
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Federal safety inspectors found that Ohio automotive carpet manufacturer UGN Inc. exposed workers to operating machine parts as they cleared excess fiber material off chains, sprockets and other equipment. The OSHA investigation was a response to an employer report that a worker sustained a partial finger amputation while conducting cleaning operations.

An investigation of the June 23, 2023, injury found that UGN Inc. did not provide or require the use of machine specific lockout procedures for machinery located in manufacturing cells that contained rotating drums, hot air boxes, burn boxes, chains and sprockets.

The cells were enclosed on only three sides, which allowed workers to walk inside and around equipment removing excess fiber to prevent machine clogs during the manufacturing of carpet underlayment.

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OSHA cited the company for three repeat and four serious violations for not having required machine safety procedures, lack of machine guarding on rotating drums, failing to train employees in lockout procedures and not providing workers heat resistant personal protective equipment to protect them from exposure to thermal temperatures of up to 191 degrees Fahrenheit while working around rotating drums, the hot air injection box and the burn box located inside cells. 

UGN Inc. faces $234,376 in proposed OSHA penalties and was placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. UGN was cited for similar machine safety violations in four previous investigations from 2019 to 2023. 

“In the past three years, employees of UGN have suffered several recordable injuries from machinery, including burns, broken bones and now an amputation because the company continues to task workers with contacting machinery while it is in operation,” said OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery in Cincinnati.

The Downers Grove, Illinois based company produces acoustic, interior trim and thermal management products for the automotive industry and operates facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. 

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