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OSHA Fines Lancaster Plant $130,300 for 12 Violations

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Horn Packaging Corporation of Lancaster was recently cited for 12 safety violations by U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following the death of an employee. A twenty nine year old worker was operated a box-making machine when he became entangled in the moving parts. There was no safety guard on the machine’s drive shaft and once the worker was trapped in the machine it was impossible to reverse and unfortunately he died from his injuries.

Horn Packaging was cited for twelve alleged safety violations following the worker’s death. One of the violations was a willful citation, which was issued for a violation regarding the unguarded drive shaft, which lacked proper protection to prevent workers from being exposed to the machine’s moving parts. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. 

Mary Hoye, OSHA’s area director for central and western Massachusetts, said, “This case starkly shows the grave consequences from unguarded moving machine parts. Proper safeguards could have prevented the needless and tragic loss of a worker’s life.”

In addition to the willful violation, eleven other serious violations were cited. OSHA defines a serious violation as one which 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.

The serious violations found here include a failure to prevent other machine guarding hazards, develop and implement a written chemical hazard communication program, provide worker training, cover electrical junction boxes and address several deficiencies in the hazardous energy control program, which is designed to prevent machinery from unintentionally starting up during maintenance.

Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.

Cited Sources:

Worker Injured at Massachusetts Plant, businessreviewusa.com, July 15, 2012

US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Lancaster, Mass., packaging manufacturer following worker fatality, osha.gov, May 7, 2012

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