Furniture Maker Fined $378K Penalty for Exposing Workers to Unsafe Conditions

Making a desk shouldn’t come at the price of worker safety, but federal enforcers say that’s just what happened at this New Hampshire facility.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited DCI Inc. for exposing employees to crushing and struck-by hazards at its Lisbon, New Hampshire, manufacturing plant. The furniture manufacturer faces a total of $378,488 in penalties after OSHA found 37 violations of workplace safety and health standards at the facility.

OSHA opened an inspection after an employee suffered serious injuries after being pulled into an automated woodcutting machine. Inspectors found that a supervisor had disabled a light curtain on the machine, preventing the machine from stopping when an individual comes too close to its point of operation. OSHA cited DCI for a willful violation for this hazard.

“Worker safety must always be an employer’s priority,” said OSHA Concord Area Office Director Rosemarie O. Cole. “Proactively addressing hazards achieves this goal.”

Concurrent comprehensive safety and health inspections identified other violations throughout the plant, including obstructed emergency exit routes; lack of eye, hand, and face protection; inadequate hearing and respirator safeguards; lack of procedures and training to prevent the unintended activation of machinery; amputation and laceration hazards; flammable and toxic hazards; untrained forklift operators; and electrical hazards.

View DCI’s citations herehere, and here. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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 help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

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