Sunfield Worker Loses Fingers in Accident

August 9, 2011 UNION TOWNSHIP — A Sunfield Inc. worker was taken to Riverside Hospital in Columbus after two of his fingers were severed in a workplace accident Monday afternoon. An emergency medical helicopter took the man to Riverside after his hand became caught in a piece of machinery, severing parts of two fingers, Hebron Fire Department firefighter/ paramedic Chris Redd said. The man was taken to Riverside, along with the severed extremities, Redd said, because the hospital does micro-surgeries. The injured worker was alert when he left on the helicopter, Redd said. The accident at Sunfield Inc., 116 Enterprise Drive, in the Newark Industrial Park, occurred at 3:47 p.m. Monday. The man’s identity was not made available. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced in June that Sunfield faced a potential of $104,500 in fines for repeatedly exposing workers to amputation hazards. The automotive parts manufacturer was found by OSHA investigators to have three safety violations in 2009 and one in February. “Sunfield was aware of the potential amputation hazards to its employees as a result of not having machine guarding in place and thus showed intentional disregard for employee safety,” OSHA Area Director Deborah Zubaty said in June. “Employers are responsible for following OSHA standards to ensure that workers are not exposed to such risks,” Zubaty said. The company was cited for failing to have machine guarding for a robotic feeding arm, point-of-operation guarding on a milling machine and to properly train mechanical power press maintenance personnel. OSHA had said it placed Sunfield Inc. in its severe violator enforcement program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. In 2009, OSHA announced that the Japanese-owned manufacturer faced fines of $302,000 for alleged workplace safety violations, citing the company for 25 violations, including three willful and one repeat offense. A willful citation, according to OSHA, occurs when there is evidence of an intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or plain indifference to its requirements. OSHA reported in 2009 that Sunfield had been inspected 13 times since 1997 and cited 60 times for health and safety violations. An OSHA investigation that began in August 2008 and continued into 2009, discovered: Failure to ensure proper procedures for maintenance and repairs; machine guarding violations; not providing eye protection or eye-flushing stations; improper forklift operations; excessive air pressure for machinery cleaning operations; and a repeat violation for failure to provide required strain relief on flexible cords in the press and die maintenance areas. Attempts to contact Sunfield Inc. on Monday evening were not successful.

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