EAST LAKE, OH ‒ Responding to the sixth amputation injury reported by an Ohio musical instrument manufacturer in the past eight years, federal investigators found employees at the East Lake facility were injured at four times the industry average rate in the past five years. Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to a report from Conn-Selmer Inc. that on July 14, 2023, a worker suffered a finger-tip amputation while setting up a machine die inside a press used to manufacture sousaphones.OSHA cited the company for three repeat and three serious violations for not using required lockout/tagout procedures, not training workers in such procedures and a lack of machine guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts. Conn-Selmer Inc. faces $273,447 in proposed OSHA penalties and was placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The agency reviewed injury logs at Conn-Selmer and found the company’s average recordable injury rate from 2019-2023 was 7.8 workers per year. The industry average in 2022 was just 2.3, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Conn-Selmer must address their higher-than-average injury rate and protect their workers from machine hazards by properly guarding all machinery, training workers and using lockout/tagout procedures, as required by law,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “During previous OSHA investigations Conn-Selmer has added machine guarding and conducted additional employee training, but workers are still getting injured. The company must do a better job and make a complete and thorough review of all their machine processes to ensure worker safety.” Conn-Selmer, a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments Inc., manufactures and distributes well-known brand musical instruments for students, amateurs and professionals. In addition to its East Lake facility, the company has manufacturing facilities in Elkhart, Indiana and Monroe, North Carolina. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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. Learn more about OSHA and lockout/tagout procedures.
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