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Region 5 News Release: 12-107-CHI
Jan. 30, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6876      312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Polymerics in
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, after worker's hand amputated by shear machine

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Polymerics with four safety violations, including a willful violation for failing to ensure that a rubber-cutting shear was kept in good working order after a worker suffered an amputation at the company's Cuyahoga Falls rubber manufacturing facility.

OSHA initiated an inspection on Aug. 16, 2011, upon receiving a complaint that alleged a malfunctioning safety pin on the hydraulic shear machine had resulted in the amputation of a worker's hand on July 27. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

"Failing to ensure that safety mechanisms on hazardous machines are working properly demonstrates a lack of regard for employees' safety and health," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

Additionally, one repeat violation was issued for failing to conduct an annual review of lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violation was cited at the facility in 2008.

Finally, two serious