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South Elgin manufacturer cited after worker loses six fingers

Sun-Times file photo

A northwest suburban metal manufacturer has been cited by the federal workplace safety agency after a worker lost several fingers in an accident last year.

A worker had six fingers amputated at Custom Aluminum Products at 414 Division St. in South Elgin as he hand-fed parts into an aluminum press on Nov. 4, 2015, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The worker, who had only been employed four weeks, lost his ring, middle and index fingers, and part of his right pinky finger, according to the statement.

Federal inspectors found the accident could have been prevented if the company had proper safety guards to keep the worker’s hands out of the metal press’ danger zone.

“It’s hard to imagine the agony and pain this young man suffered when six of his fingers were amputated,” OSHA’s Aurora area director Jake Scott said in a statement.

“His life is now forever altered because the press lacked required safe guarding devices. These devices would have prevented his hands from coming in contact with the operating parts of the machine,” Scott said.

The company was cited for one willful and one serious violation on April 29, according to the statement. Proposed penalties are $70,000.