Manufacturer Faces More Than 1.2M In Proposed Penalties

A vinyl tile manufacturing company in Fostoria is facing more than $1.2 million in proposed penalties after a worker was caught in a machine, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were sent to Fostoria to inspect the NOX US LLC plant after a worker was severely injured in April.

According to the Department of Labor, the worker’s finger was first caught in a rotating spindle on a plastic winding machine and then their body was pulled around the machine’s spindle. The worker sustained multiple injuries that required surgery.

OSHA cited the company for multiple willful and serious violations, one repeat violation and one other-than-serious violation. NOX US LLC now faces $1,232,705 in proposed penalties.

This employee’s injury is the seventh injury since February 2017 and the DOL says this is “related to the company’s failure to follow required machine safety procedures.”

Additionally, the release says the company has seen at least 13 injuries caused by “exposure to burn” and “amputation hazards” at the plant since 2017. The plant was placed under the severe violator enforcement program by OHSA in 2017.

“NOX US LLC’s continued failure to correct previously identified hazards has led to another worker suffering severe and potentially life-altering injuries,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago. “When an employer fails to ensure dangerous machines are guarded or de-energized properly, they show an indifference to worker safety, and the risk of serious injuries multiplies.”

According to the release, NOX US LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to concede with orders, request an informal conference with the OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.