Bellefontaine Manufacturer Cited For Serious Safety Violations

Bellefontaine Manufacturer Cited For Serious Safety Violations (Image 1)

A rubber-hose manufacturer in Ohio continues to put workers at risk of amputations and serious injuries by ignoring safety rules for industrial machines, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported Monday. 

OSHA cited HBD/Thermoid Inc., in Bellefontaine, for one willful and 10 serious safety violations and faces $134,000 in proposed penalties, a press release states. 

The inspection was opened under OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, and conducted in October 2014 in Bellefontaine. In May 2014, a worker was killed after being caught in an industrial machine at the company’s North Carolina location.

HBD’s corporate offices are in Dublin, according to the company website. 

“HBD/Thermoid must act now and put required safety guards on large industrial machines. These machines are used by workers who cut and manufacturer rubber hoses at the company’s six facilities across the country,” said Kim Nelson, area director of OSHA’s Toledo office. “Each year, more than 200,000 workers are injured by machines in the United States. Each day, an average of 12 workers are killed on-the-job. Employees and their families pay the painful price emotionally and economically when companies don’t follow standards to reduce injuries.”

A willful violation was cited for failing to protect workers from the operating parts of hose balers and hose feed equipment during the manufacturing process.

Workers were also found to be in danger of amputation because machines were not shut down properly before repair and maintenance. The machines were also operated without proper safety devices. Inspectors also noted that work platforms and elevator shafts lacked adequate guardrails to protect workers from falls; electrical parts were not de-energized prior to performing work; and personal protective equipment to safeguard workers from electrical shock was not provided. A total of 10 serious safety violations were issued.

View the current citations at http://mgtvwcmh.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/hbdthermoid_1007813_042015.pdf.

HBD/Thermoid employs about 1,000 workers corporatewide and manufactures hoses used in a variety of industries, such as transportation, food processing and agriculture.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.

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