After worker’s hand cut off, Cleburne plant fined $49,600 by OSHA

A company in Cleburne was fined $49,600 by OSHA.
A company in Cleburne was fined $49,600 by OSHA. Star-Telegram archives

Johns Manville, a Colorado-based manufacturing company, was fined $49,600 by federal regulators this week after a worker’s hand was severed in an accident at its plant in Cleburne.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration received reports of the accident in February.

The worker, a 34-year-old man, was trying to clear a jam in a machine, according to an OSHA press release.

“Johns Manville’s flawed procedures to control hazardous energy sources and a lack of machine guards ultimately led to an amputation,” Jack A. Rector, OSHA’s Fort Worth area director, said in the press release. “The company should have evaluated its lockout/tagout program and provided proper machine guarding. It is simply unacceptable that a 34-year-old father of four young children suffered a gruesome injury, and has had life forever changed by an incident that was preventable.”

OSHA cited the facility for lacking machine guards on a conveyor and allowing an unguarded and protruding shaft —both repeat violations. OSHA also said the facility lacked clear steps for shutting down and securing machines and failed to train employees about the hazards associated with hazardous energy.

About 400 employees work at the company’s Cleburne plant.

OSHA cited Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, for similar violations at its facilities in Ohio and New Jersey.

Eric Brown, a spokesman for Johns Manville, said in a statement that the company was still reviewing the violations Thursday.

“The health and safety of our employees is a top priority,” Brown said. “We will work through OSHA’s administrative process to appropriately address the issues raised by the agency.”

Last week, OSHA fined MillerCoors $77,000 after a worker’s finger was cut off at the company’s south Fort Worth brewery in December.