Towel Manufacturer Fined $50,000 for Lockout Violation
A worker for a towel manufacturer was operating a machine that applies dye to towels. Fabric is passed through two rollers to squeeze out excess dye; the non-moving parts of the machine are cleaned by hand with sponges before changing dyes, while the moving parts are cleaned by sprayers with the machine running. The worker was wiping the front of the machine with a sponge while it was running. Either the worker’s sponge or his glove got caught in the in-running nip created by the two rollers. His hand was pulled in between the rollers, resulting in partial amputation of fingers as well as bone and tissue damage. The manufacturer pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the machine was stopped before being cleaned or maintained and was fined $50,000 [Cambridge Towel Company Inc., Govt. News Release, May 21, 2015].