The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for one willful and 17 serious safety and health violations at MCM Industries Co., an automotive cold forging plant in Cleveland, following an inspection in March.

MCM Industries produces cold-formed coiled steel and springs for the transportation, automotive and agricultural manufacturing.

The inspectors discovered workers exposed to amputation hazards from improperly guarded mechanical power presses, and the agency proposed penalties of $126,700.

Other amputation hazards found during the inspection included a lack of machine guarding and failure to implement specific lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machinery from operating during service and maintenance.

Also, MCM Industries failed to perform periodic inspections of the mechanical power presses; exposed workers to slips and falls from unguarded floor openings; failed to provide eye protection and to conduct annual fire extinguisher training; and did not label hazardous chemical containers properly.

OSHA defines a “willful” violation as one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. A “serious” violation is one from which death or serious physical harm may result, and which an employer knew or should have known exists.

"Power presses require a lot of operator involvement, which provides opportunities for serious injury and even death if extreme care and safety precautions are not in place," stated Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "MCM Industries knew how dangerous these machines could be and failed to keep workers safe at this facility."

The manufacturer may comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.