Mold manufacturers & OSHA: Tips from an insider, feedback from moldmakers

07/14/2011

Working with machine tools in metal machining operations often involves potentially hazardous situations. But mold company owners shouldn't wait for a visit from an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) inspector to find and correct any potential safety hazards in their facility. Eric Lawrence, safety consultant with Advanced Safety & Health, a Louisville, KY-based consulting firm specializing in helping companies find and address safety issues before OSHA comes knocking, offered some advice for facility owners and managers.

What usually triggers an OSHA inspection? Lawrence, who used to work in a machining and metal fabrication company, presented in a recent webinar to members of the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) as part of that trade group's monthly webinar series. He said there are three primary events that can bring OSHA inspectors to your plant:

•Employee complaints
•Accidents
•Being on the OSHA target list

For example, we recently ran an article about one medical molder receiving a proposed $72,000 in total penalties as part of a March 17 Site-Specific Targeting Program for employers with high-than-average injury and illness rates. Many of the items cited at that molder's facility seemed simple enough: certified forklift training, machine guarding, and blocked exits among others. But it all adds up when it comes to fines....
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