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U.S. cites Texas firm for 'willful' safety violations

Aug. 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Labor said it has fined Texas manufacturer Lone Star Reel Corp. for safety violations that could result in amputations.

In all, 10 violations were cited.

The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it fined the company $148,400 for "failing to guard machinery and exposing workers to amputation hazards."

The violations were uncovered in February during an inspection by the OSHA Dallas Area Office, the department said in a news release Tuesday.

"The two willful safety violations were cited for failing to provide workers with documented procedures on how to control potentially hazardous energy sources during machine or equipment maintenance and ensure that points of machine operations were guarded to prevent the exposure of any body parts in the danger zone during operation cycles," the release said.

"By failing to guard machinery, Lone Star Reel is exposing workers to possibly losing fingers, hands, feet or other body parts," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA area director in Dallas. "That negligence will not be tolerated."

Inspectors determined the company failed to ensure there was proper protection from explosion in dust collectors, or that passageways, storerooms and service rooms were kept clean. The inspection also uncovered evidence the company failed to ensure "materials were stored in a stable or secure manner" or that "one or more methods of machine guarding were provided to protect workers."

Lone Star Reel Corp., based in McKinney, Texas, manufactures wooden spool reels. The company may ask for an informal conference with OSHA or challenge the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, OSHA said.

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