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Houston company fined after workers lose fingers on the job

A Houston manufacturing company has been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after two workers were seriously injured on the job. The workers had their fingers amputated in hydraulic presses at Piping Technology & Products, which OSHA stated were not properly guarded.

A spokesperson for OSHA's Houston South area said that the company had been cited in the past for the same violation on various pieces of machinery, yet the company continued to put workers at risk. Because of the previous violations, the company was cited with one willful violation that comes with a proposed penalty of $70,000.


OSHA defines a willful violation as when an employer acts with indifference to worker health or safety, or knowingly violates the federal workplace safety rules. The OSHA spokesman said that the employer knowingly exposed the workers to danger and that is something that "will not be tolerated."

The Houston company released a statement calling the workplace accident "unfortunate" but that it disagrees with OSHA's findings and "strives to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for its employees."

Piping Technology & Products was inspected by OSHA in 2011 and subsequently cited with a total of 42 health and safety violations, including failing to provide guards on machinery.

Workers who are injured in accidents like this one may potentially be eligible for damages stemming from a personal injury lawsuit or a workers' compensation claim, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help injured workers determine what they are entitled to.

Source: Fuel Fix, "Company fined after equiptment amputates workers' fingers," June 24, 2013

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