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Investigation of Amputation Finds Ohio Instrument Manufacturer Again Violated Safety Standards

Employees at the facility were injured at four times the industry average rate.

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Federal investigators found employees at Conn-Selmer Inc.'s Eastlake, Ohio, facility were injured at four times the industry average rate in the past five years. The investigation followed the sixth amputation injury reported by the musical instrument manufacturer in the past eight years.

OSHA inspectors responded to a report from Conn-Selmer that on July 14, 2023, a worker suffered a finger-tip amputation while setting up a machine die inside a press used to manufacture sousaphones.

OSHA cited the company for three repeat and three serious violations for not using required lockout/tagout procedures, not training workers in such procedures and a lack of machine guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts. Conn-Selmer Inc. faces $273,447 in proposed OSHA penalties and was placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. 

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The agency reviewed injury logs at Conn-Selmer and found the company’s average recordable injury rate from 2019-2023 was 7.8 workers per year. The industry average in 2022 was just 2.3, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   

"During previous OSHA investigations Conn-Selmer has added machine guarding and conducted additional employee training, but workers are still getting injured," OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts said.

Conn-Selmer, a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments Inc., manufactures and distributes well-known brand musical instruments for students, amateurs and professionals. In addition to its Eastlake facility, the company has manufacturing facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, and Monroe, North Carolina. 

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