EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH

APPEALS BOARD

Summary of Nursery Supplies, Inc. – Decision After Reconsideration

Employer’s machine had a plexi-glass cover on top that was interlocked to the power control that stopped the enclosed knives but no guard on an opening through which stock entered the machine to be trimmed by the reachable knives inside. An employee reached in through the opening to align the stock and suffered a serious hand injury. The Division cited Employer for a serious accident/related violation of section 4184(b) [failing to guard point of operation on a machine not specifically covered in Group 8]. The Board finds that the interlocked door on the top does not guard the point of operation opening and the machine had a cutting action similar to Group 8 machines, so the violation was established. The violation was serious because there was a substantial probability that accidental contact with the knives would result in serious physical harm or death. The violation caused a serious injury. The $5,000 civil penalty was sustained. Employer proved the five elements of the Independent Employee Action Defense but the defense is not available if the safety order which was violated required positive guarding, and that guarding was not provided.

NURSERY SUPPLIES, INC. 99-2731
August 2, 2002