Manufacturer Fined $298K for Not Fixing Hazards that Led to Amputation

A worker's hand became caught in a polishing machine at Air Starter Components in Texas.

In March 2022, an Air Starter Components Inc. worker in Texas suffered a finger amputation. The incident occurred when the worker's hand became caught in a polishing machine that did not have the required machine safety guards.

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One year later, OSHA returned to the scene to conduct a follow-up investigation and determine if the manufacturer of air starters and other engine components and parts corrected the safety hazards.

According to OSHA Area Director Mark Briggs, the company was still using the equipment without the required safety guards, and doing so resulted in another worker suffering a "debilitating injury."

OSHA cited Air Starter Components with “failing to abate citations” for not correcting the hazards and another "failing to abate citation" for not posting the summary of work-related injuries and illnesses for the previous year during the required timeframe.

Failing to fix the violations resulted in $171,063 in penalties. But the penalties did not end there.

OSHA inspectors also found 14 serious violations that involved a spray booth, belts and pulleys on a horizontal lathe, unguarded projected shaft ends, improper use of electrical equipment exceeding its safe limits and lacking proper grounding, air compressors operating at more than 30 pounds per square inch, and the substitution of extension cords for required permanent wiring. 

These violations added up to $127,187 in penalties, and the company now faces a total of $298,250 in proposed penalties.

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