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US Department of Labor Investigation Finds Ohio Instrument Manufacturer Violated Safety Standards

An investigation conducted by the US Department of Labor has found that an Ohio instrument manufacturer, Conn-Selmer Inc., has once again violated safety standards. This comes after the company reported its sixth amputation injury in the past eight years. The investigation revealed that employees at the East Lake facility have been injured at a rate four times higher than the industry average over the past five years.

Failure to Follow Safety Procedures

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to a report from Conn-Selmer Inc. regarding a finger-tip amputation incident that occurred on July 14, 2023. The investigation resulted in the citation of the company for three repeat and three serious violations. These violations include a failure to use required lockout/tagout procedures, inadequate training of workers in these procedures, and a lack of machine guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts.

The proposed penalties for Conn-Selmer Inc. amount to $273,447 and the company has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. OSHA reviewed injury logs at Conn-Selmer and discovered that the company’s average recordable injury rate from 2019-2023 was 7.8 workers per year. In comparison, the industry average in 2022 was only 2.3, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ensuring Worker Safety

OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland emphasized the need for Conn-Selmer to address their higher-than-average injury rate and take steps to protect their workers from machine hazards. This includes properly guarding all machinery, providing adequate training to workers, and implementing lockout/tagout procedures as required by law. Despite previous OSHA investigations that led to the addition of machine guarding and extra employee training, workers continue to sustain injuries. Therefore, it is imperative for the company to conduct a comprehensive review of all their machine processes to ensure worker safety.

About Conn-Selmer Inc.

Conn-Selmer Inc. is a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. and is known for manufacturing and distributing well-known brand musical instruments for students, amateurs, and professionals. In addition to the East Lake facility, the company has manufacturing facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, and Monroe, North Carolina.

Conn-Selmer Inc. has 15 business days to comply with the citations and penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Workplace safety is of utmost importance, and it is crucial for companies to adhere to safety standards and regulations to protect their employees. The case of Conn-Selmer Inc. highlights the consequences of failing to implement proper safety measures. By addressing the issues raised by OSHA and taking proactive steps to ensure worker safety, companies can create a safer work environment for their employees.

Reference Link: US Department of Labor investigation of worker’s finger-tip amputation finds Ohio instrument manufacturer again violated safety standards

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