WESTON, WI – An employee working at Crystal Finishing Systems Inc.’s aluminum extrusion facility in Weston was hospitalized with serious injuries after being struck by a puller machine while trying to unjam a piece of aluminum.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the Dec. 21, 2021, incident and determined 6-foot chain-link safety guards were not affixed around the 8-inch extrusion press line to prevent workers from coming in contact with the puller. Additionally, the press line was not locked out to prevent unintentional machine movement during service and maintenance, and the employer failed to train workers on machine safety procedures.
OSHA cited Crystal Finishing for one serious and two repeated violations and proposed penalties of $159,522. The company was cited for similar machine safety violations eight times between 2012 and 2019.
“Machine guards are designed to protect workers from suffering serious injuries, but they are only effective when used properly,” said OSHA’s Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “OSHA will hold this company and others accountable for failing to comply with safety and health regulations put in place to prevent worker injuries.”
Based in Weston, Crystal Finishing Systems also operates facilities in Mosinee and River Falls and employs about 800 Wisconsin workers.
OSHA’s machine guarding and control of hazardous energy webpages provide information on what employers must do to limit worker exposure to machine hazards.
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