Lauren Manufacturing Facing More than $100K in OSHA FinesJuly 17th, 2015 by Casey Flores
A New Philadelphia, Ohio-based seal and gasket manufacturer is facing $105,000 in fines after one of its employees sustained multiple broken bones in her hand while operating machinery.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) handed down the penalties to Lauren Manufacturing LLC after “inspectors found in January that Lauren Manufacturing LLC ignored required machine safety guards that would have prevented the woman’s hand from touching press operating parts,” according to a release from OSHA.
OSHA issued one willful, four serious and one other-than-serious safety violations to Lauren on July 13.
According to OSHA, a hydraulic press crushed the 62-year-old’s left hand, resulting in multiple broken bones. The 15-year employee has been unable to return to work and has endured three surgeries as a result.
“This employee may never come back to work because Lauren Manufacturing ignored safety requirements that would have prevented this catastrophic injury, which affects her life and livelihood,” says Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “Each year, hundreds of workers are injured on-the-job because employers, like this one, fail to provide a safe work environment, as the law requires.”
The willful violation was for “exposing workers to machinery operating parts,” and the four serious violations issued were for “failing to develop and train workers on steps for shutting down or isolating energy sources to machinery during maintenance and service, such as mold changes.” The company was issued the other-than-serious violation for failing to notify OSHA of the injury, as under reporting requirements, companies are required to report any worker hospitalization within 24 hours.
Lauren International is the parent company for eight subsidiaries, including Lauren Manufacturing. The company employs approximately 275 workers at the New Philadelphia plant and more than 440 corporate wide.
Lauren has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in the Columbus office or contest the findings before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Representatives at Lauren did not respond to DWM magazine’s request for comment as of press time, but in a statement to the Times Reporter in Ohio, company president Lisa Huntsman says Lauren is “in the process of reviewing the citations and will continue our discussions with OSHA regarding the alleged violations of OSHA regulations and the conditions in our workplace.”
“Lauren strongly disputes that it willfully or intentionally disregarded any workplace safety standards and intends to contest these allegations if necessary,” she adds. “As has been Lauren’s practice for 50 years, we remain committed to providing a safe work environment for all of our employees.”