According to The Houston Chronicle, after a machine operator’s arms were crushed, federal regulators proposed penalties against Custom Rubber Products in Houston for creating a dangerous work environment.
Custom Rubber Products employs around 280 workers and makes products for the oil and gas industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an investigation of the company in September, after learning that a worker at Custom Rubber Products was severely injured while operating an unguarded machine. OSHA cited the company with eight violations for failing to guard its machines and exposing workers to life-threatening hazards, proposing penalties totaling $560,000.
OSHA officials also learned of two previous incidents at the facility that both resulted in severe injuries: in 2004, the company paid $875 to settle five violations, and in 2007, the company paid $1,125 to settle a violation for failing to guard machinery.
“In an instant, moving machine parts can crush workers or amputate fingers or limbs,” stated David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, in a public statement. “Employers must ensure that guards are functioning on machines that can cause these injuries, and there is no excuse for failing to provide them.”
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