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March 28, 2024
Ohio manufacturer cited again in 8th OSHA investigation

HBD Thermoid Inc., an Ohio industrial hose manufacturer, faces $321,489 in new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties, the agency announced March 26. Following OSHA’s eighth investigation into HBD Thermoid since 2013, the agency cited the employer with 14 new violations at its Bellefontaine, Ohio, manufacturing facility—1 willful, 11 serious, and 2 other-than-serious.

Safety violations included a lack of adequate machine guarding, electrical safe work practices, and training in lockout/tagout procedures to prevent sudden machine start-ups or movement.

OSHA’s lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards were two of the agency’s top 10 most cited standards in fiscal year 2023, OSHA announced last fall.

When OSHA opened its latest investigation, it was still investigating how a 25-year-old employee suffered severe injuries at the same Bellefontaine facility in June 2023. In December, OSHA issued citations for two repeat, one willful, one serious, and one other-than-serious violation to conclude the earlier investigation. OSHA issued $389,534 in proposed penalties. The company is contesting the December 2023 citations.

“The lack of safety procedures throughout the HBD Thermoid plant and the company’s inaction shows that they remain indifferent to their obligation to protect their employees,” Todd Jensen, OSHA’s Toledo, Ohio, area office director, said in a statement. “For more than a decade, the company has jeopardized its employees’ well-being by not making workplace safety and health a priority.”

HBD Thermoid, a wholly owned subsidiary of HBD Industries of Dublin, Ohio, makes industrial hoses, conveyor belting, and duct materials, operating manufacturing facilities in Bellefontaine, as well as Chanute, Kansas, and Oneida, Tennessee.

Ohio manufacturer cited for repeat violations

ArcelorMittal Tubular Products USA, a Shelby, Ohio, manufacturer, faces $253,515 in OSHA penalties for four repeat violations for inadequate machine guarding, not using required lockout/tagout procedures, and failing to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures to reduce their exposure to operating machine parts, the agency announced March 26.

Although OSHA cited ArcelorMittal Tubular Products for similar hazards at the Shelby facility in 2022, a 60-year-old employee sustained severe injuries in December 2023 after becoming caught in a pinch point created by a bundle of steel tubes and a rotating roller conveyor, according to the agency.

In response to the employer-reported injury, OSHA investigators determined the company didn’t adequately guard the conveyor’s pinch points, which led an employee, working as a tube handler, to suffer lower arm and wrist injuries.

Since 2014, the agency has cited U.S. subsidiaries of ArcelorMittal for 80 violations and investigated 7 work-related deaths at facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. ArcelorMittal Tubular Products USA operates manufacturing facilities in Marion and Shelby, Ohio.

“The inspection of ArcelorMittal Tubular Products was one of nearly 1,700 inspections related to machine hazards and potential amputation injuries in Ohio in the past five years,” Jensen noted. “This was a preventable injury had the company taken appropriate action to prevent workers from contacting moving machine parts, violations for which OSHA cited the company previously.”

OSHA has an ongoing National Emphasis Program (NEP) focused on the enforcement of its lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards to address amputation hazards in manufacturing.

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