Teen loses hand after Middlefield company allows him to operate machine illegally

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MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio – Shady Knob violated the law when they allowed a 14-year-old boy to operate machinery, which resulted in him losing his hand.

The pallet maker received citations from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration on July 7.

The citations were after an inspection found that the 14-year-old had suffered the injury from their machinery on March 31.

Shady Knob violated the law because employees under 18 cannot operate machinery.

“Workers under age 18 are prohibited from operating power-driven woodworking machinery, such as the wood planer used here,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Without safety mechanisms, personal protective equipment and proper training, employees are at risk. Shady Knob Pallet Co. must know the laws and protect the safety and well-being of its workers.”

OSHA issued 17 serious safety violations to the company. Proposed fines total $43,200. In addition to missing safety mechanisms, inspectors found Shady Knob failed to:

-Train worksite staff to provide first aid.
-Establish an exposure control plan for employees exposed to blood during first aid.
-Teach employees about workplace chemical hazards.
-Provide, and train workers on, the use of personal protective equipment.
-Store flammable liquids correctly.
-Use self-closing valves on gasoline drums used to power equipment.
-Install electrical equipment properly.

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