OSHA issues fines for safety violations at metal stamping plant

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- E.R. Wagner Manufacturing Co. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 safety violations, carrying proposed penalties of $106,000.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the Milwaukee plant in August 2013 under the Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on facilities with a higher than average illness and injury rate.

Investigators found multiple machines in use at E. R. Wagner Manufacturing Co. that lacked machine guarding -- which protects workers from amputation and other severe injuries.

One willful violation was cited for lack of machine guarding on a metalworking machine, which exposed workers to amputation hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Seven serious safety citations were issued to the company. Four of those violations also involve lack of machine guarding. The remaining three violations include inadequate lockout/tagout procedures, training and failing to certify periodic inspections of energy control procedures. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Additionally, six other-than-serious violations involve failing to inspect slings prior to use; lack of employee training on bloodborne pathogens initially and annually; failing to certify powered industrial truck training records; and failing to perform pre-shift inspections of forklifts. Additionally, forklift nameplates were not legible. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

E.R. Wagner designs, develops, and supplies quality casters and wheels, hinges and stampings, and tubular products to manufacturers and distributors worldwide. The company employs approximately 250 workers.

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.