September 4, 2014 — A cell tower manufacturer has been cited by OSHA after two employees were injured in separate incidents at its Hicksville, Ohio, plant. OSHA fined FWT, based in Fort Worth, Texas, $45,000 for one repeat and one serious safety violation after exposing workers to amputation hazards.
The injured employees operated cranes that loaded poles into squaring presses, which flatten part of the poles, when the injuries occurred. One employee’s hands were crushed by machinery in February, and another employee was pinned between a telecommunication pole and the frame of the squaring press in March. The workers’ injuries were serious and were preventable with machine guards, according to Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo.
One serious violation was issued for lack of guarding on the squaring press point of operation. The squaring press flattens the knuckles on the end of telecommunication tower poles, and without proper guarding, it can cause catastrophic injury. 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.
Back in 2010, the company was also cited for three willful and 38 serious violations of OSHA standards at its Fort Worth plant. Proposed penalties totaled $293,400. The citations were for exposing employees to harmful noise levels and respiratory hazards associated with hazardous chemicals.
The company has 15 business days to comply or contest the most recent citations.