The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined Whitesell Corp. $3 million. OSHA cited 72 safety and health violations exposing workers to amputation hazards and other problems at manufacturing plants in Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals, Ala. “Whitesell willfully tampered with the safety mechanisms of its hydraulic forging presses at its Tuscumbia plant to speed up production, resulting in the amputation of a worker’s hand,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
OSHA began an inspection of the Tuscumbia plant in March after receiving a report that a worker’s hand had been amputated. Due to the seriousness of the hazards noted during that initial visit, the inspection was expanded to a comprehensive safety and health inspection of the facility and to the company’s Muscle Shoals plant due to the probability that similar hazards existed at that location. Whitesell produces fasteners and other specialty cold-formed metal products.