Without protection, a worker almost lost a finger on a punch press machine in Hialeah. Safety violations that include not providing that protection will cost PGT Industries fines proposed to total $398,545, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced.
PGT owns CGI Windows and Doors, 3780 W. 104th St., the site of what the Labor Department called a “partial finger amputation.” Both companies are based in Nokomis, Fla., according to sunbiz.org.
“This employer knowingly disregarded machine guarding requirements intended to protect employees from caught-in and amputation hazards,” OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director Condell Eastmond said in Friday’s announcement.
That’s in line with Occupational Safety Health Administration inspectors slamming PGT with a multi-part Willful violation, defined by OSHA as, “a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”
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While there were also two Serious violations and two Other-Than-Serious violations, the Willful violation accounts for $258,672 of the proposed fine.
Inspectors found guards absent at the point of business on eight punch presses, a drill press and a table saw. Three other punch presses had guards that didn’t cover enough area.
The two Serious violations broke down into 16 parts that called out PGT for exposing employees to electrical hazards, failing to make sure employees wore hearing protection or properly anchored a drill press.
PGT Industries has 15 business days from Thursday’s issuance of the Citation and Notification of Penalty to contest the findings, pay the fines or request an informal conference with Eastmond.
In a Monday morning email to the Miami Herald, PGT Florida Operations Senior Vice President Bob Keller said, in part:
“At CGI, our lost time injury rate and our recordable injury rate remain below industry average. That said, our goal is to eliminate all injuries, occupational illnesses, and unsafe practices. We will continue to drive safety improvements and demonstrate our strong commitment to safety, because it is our sincere belief that all work related injuries, illnesses and accidents are preventable.
“While we disagree with some of OSHA’s allegations in the citations, we share OSHA’s goal of ensuring the safety of each and every one of our team members and have fully cooperated with OSHA throughout the investigation. Any hazard identified was expeditiously abated.”