On January 3, 2017, a 60-year-old maintenance worker at Amsted Rail Company was conducting maintenance when his leg was caught and crushed in a core baker machine.
The incident triggered an OSHA investigation into the manufacturer of cast steel freight components, and the agency found multiple safety violations at the company's Groveport, OH plant, including failure to lock out machinery during servicing.
During a second investigation, OSHA inspectors also found that the company exposed workers to high amounts of silica. They documented four incidents of silica overexposure.
As a result of the more than 30 violations, the company now faces $610,034 in fines from the U.S. Department of Labor. The penalty is the largest OSHA penalty in Ohio this year, and, according to OSHA, the ninth highest in the U.S. since January 2015.
Amsted Rail has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which concentrates on inspecting employers that have demonstrated indifference to their Occupational Safety and Health Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.
This isn’t the first documented incident with a core baker machine. Back in 2005, and employee at The Griffin Wheel Company, an Amsted subsidiary, was operating a core baker Machine that made molds for pouring molten metal to form rail car wheels. The employee was caught between the mold and the frame of the machine and died a day later from crushing wounds.
This is IEN Now with David Mantey.