PARIS, IL – On Nov. 14, 2020, a master maintenance technician for a central Illinois lighting manufacturer suffered severe facial burns when pressurized material in a plastic molding machine exploded.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined North American Lighting Inc. lacked energy control procedures to protect workers during maintenance work, a process known as lockout/tagout. OSHA also found that the company failed to review and test its lockout/tagout procedures annually for effectiveness, and ensure employees used eye and face protection.
OSHA cited the company for one repeat violation and three serious violations of machine safety standards and requirements for personal protective equipment. The agency cited the company for similar violations in 2019 at the same facility, and proposed $85,826 in penalties. Lack of machine safety procedures is the fourth most frequently cited OSHA violation.
“Employers must ensure that machines and equipment are disabled before workers perform service and maintenance to prevent unexpected startup or release of hazardous energy and materials,” said OSHA Area Director Barry Salerno in Peoria, Illinois. “If North American Lighting took the time to implement and test the safety procedures, this serious injury could have been prevented.”
A subsidiary of the Koito Group of Tokyo, North American Lighting Inc. manufactures automotive lighting systems at eight facilities nationwide.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. Learn more about OSHA.