Local metal stamping business exposes workers to amputation dangers, federal inspectors claim

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FILE – In this May 7, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. Unemployment fraud in the U.S. has reached dramatic levels during the pandemic: more than $63 billion has been paid out improperly through fraud or errors since March 2020. Criminals are seizing on the opportunity created by the pandemic and are making false claims using stolen information. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Federal authorities say a local metal stamping manufacturer was fined $412,000 after inspectors allegedly found unsafe working conditions during a visit.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says a worker at D&D Manufacturing Inc. suffered the amputation of two fingers inside a 500-ton hydraulic press as result of dangerous conditions inside the facility.

Calls to the plant in El Paso and their headquarters in Bolingbrook, Illinois for comment were unsuccessful as the phone-line rang several times and went busy, and voice-mail inboxes were full. The department of Labor says the company has more than 400 employees in its locations and 60 in El Paso.

Federal authorities say the business has a history of workplace safety violations and of failing to protect its workers from the dangers of moving machine parts.

During a January inspection, OSHA representatives say they observed two willful, 12 serious and three other than serious violations. The agency proposed penalties worth $412,750.

“The willful and serious violations identified in this inspection show D&D Manufacturing Inc. continues to ignore required worker safety protections,” Diego Alvarado Jr., the OSHA area director in El Paso said. “Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe injuries when they are not properly guarded and safety procedures are absent.”

OSHA inspectors say the company has failed to use required machine guards to prevent employees from coming into contact with machines’ operating parts. Also, federal inspectors say the company does not conduct periodic and regular inspections, resulting in machine malfunctions, and have failed to ensure employees use appropriate eye, face and hearing protection.

The department of Labor says the business has 15 days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply , request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings.

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