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January 26, 2024
Musical instrument maker facing $273K OSHA fine

Conn-Selmer Inc., an Eastlake, Ohio, musical instrument manufacturer, is facing $273,447 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties for three repeat and three serious violations, the agency announced January 24.

On July 14, 2023, a worker suffered a fingertip amputation while setting up a machine die inside a press used to manufacture sousaphones.

Investigators responded to the sixth amputation injury in the past 8 years, finding that employees at the Eastlake facility were injured at a rate four times the industry average in the past 5 years. The company’s injury logs show an average recordable injury rate from 2019 to 2023 of 7.8 workers per year. The industry average in 2022 for musical instrument manufacturers was just 2.3, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

“Conn-Selmer must address their higher-than-average injury rate and protect their workers from machine hazards by properly guarding all machinery, training workers and using lockout/tagout procedures, as required by law,” Howard Eberts, OSHA’s Cleveland area office director, said in an agency statement.

OSHA’s lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards are among the agency’s most cited standards. OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.147) is its sixth most cited standard, cited 2,554 times in fiscal year (FY) 2023, and the machine guarding standard (§1910.212) is the tenth most cited, cited 1,644 times.

Poultry plant facing $213K fine for teen’s death

Poultry processor Mar-Jac Poultry MS, LLC, is facing $212,646 in penalties for 14 serious and 3 other-than-serious safety violations following the death of a 16-year-old sanitation worker who was pulled into a machine, OSHA announced January 16.

It was the second worker fatality at the Hattiesburg, Mississippi, plant in just over 2 years. OSHA previously cited Mar-Jac Poultry after a May 31, 2021, incident in which an employee’s shirtsleeve got caught in a machine. The worker was pulled in, and his body was pinned against the support and the machine’s carousel, resulting in fatal injuries. 

OSHA investigators found that the company failed to: 

  • Ensure energy control procedures were used to prevent the unexpected start-up of machines while employees performed sanitation, exposing workers to caught-in hazards. 
  • Ensure employees used lockout/tagout devices on machinery when performing cleaning.
  • Ensure an energy control procedure included specific steps for blocking and securing portions of the machinery while workers cleaned. 
  • Ensure the machinery retained guarding to prevent employees from entering danger zones while machinery was in operation. 
  • Cover open holes in 480-volt electrical cabinets, exposing workers to electrical hazards. 
  • Prevent workers from using portable ladders incorrectly to gain access to elevated work surfaces, exposing workers to fall hazards.

OSHA had to obtain a warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi to secure access to the Mar-Jac facility and investigate safety hazards related to the incident.

“Following the fatal incident in May 2021, Mar-Jac Poultry should have enforced strict safety standards in its facility,” Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s Region 4 administrator, said in a statement. “No worker should be placed in a preventable, dangerous situation, let alone a child.”

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division has an open child labor investigation at Mar-Jac.

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