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Section: 56.14100b
Date: 06/02/2010
District: NC
Negligence: Moderate
Injury or Illness: Reasonably Likely
Injury or illness could be expected to be: Permanantly Disabling
Significant and Substantial: Yes

Condition or Practice: Tongue guards were missing on both grinders in the shop. The threaded mounting holes, manufacturer installed, were over the wheels and easily visible on the Baldor grinder. This safety device contains flying fragments should the wheel break apart during operation. A prominent groove could be seen in the side of the wheel indicating each of the wheels had been used for grinding. This practice is dangerous and increases the likelihood that the high speed wheel will break apart causing serious injuries from the flying fragments. A grinder is used about once per week by employees.

Action to Terminate: The tongue guard was installed on the Dayton grinder. The Baldor grinder has been removed from service.

Why this concerns you: A standard exists that pertains directly to stationary grinders, and does not require "tongue" guards, therefore the field office has implemented an internal procedure (which includes written instruction that the inspector shared with us) for citing these grinders under 56.14100b. This would appear to be a "lack of fair notice" circumstance. The inspector stated during a "pre-close-out" before the citations were written that this would be non S&S, and then changes the gravity to S&S after she input the citations. The inspector states in condition or practice that a "prominent groove" exists in the side of the wheel as her basis for S&S when photos reveal that no such groove exists. The existance of the shields on the grinder would make the tongue guard a redundancy, and I question the inspectors determination of "resonably likely.

Abatement Suggestions From Industry

MSHA is stretching the standard beyond recognition. The grinders were not manufactured with this feature. 14100(b) is a standard for defective equipment and this is not defective. Contest it and win!
- posted on 06/03/2010

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