What Factors Are Important to Define Operating Cycle ?
In State ex rel. Advanced Metal Precision Products v. Indus. Comm., 111 Ohio St.3d 109, 2006 Ohio 5336, 855 N.E.2d 435, the Supreme Court of Ohio analyzed the factors important to defining operating cycle:
"Operating cycle" is not defined in the safety code, and the term defies easy interpretation judicially, for any workable definition balances the need for safety with the need for danger-zone accessibility.
Because the danger zone is hazardous, the temptation is to say that the zone should be completely inaccessible.
With certain types of manufacturing processes, inaccessibility is possible.
Many manufacturing and assembly processes, however, require an employee's hands to, at some point, enter the danger zone. the reasons are many: part insertion or removal, part adjustment, and positioning of sleeves or molds.
It is equally tempting to say that if a press is cycling when a press accident occurs, the press is operating and is therefore in an "operating cycle." Garza, citing Aspinwall, rejected this logic, holding:
"The hidden danger in this approach, however, is that, in effect, it declares that because there was an injury there was by necessity a VSSR--i.e., someone was injured; therefore, the safety device was inadequate. This violates two workers' compensation tenets:
(1) the commission determines the presence or absence of a violation and (2) all reasonable doubts as to a specific safety requirement's applicability must be resolved in the employer's favor. It also creates two practical problems, because it (1) renders the manufacturing process impossible by preventing claimant's hands from ever entering the danger zone and (2) conflicts with the safety code's enumeration of a 'two-hand control' as an acceptable means of protection." Garza, 94 Ohio St.3d at 400 Id. at P8-10.
In Advanced Metal, the court held:
"That the term 'operating cycle' in former Ohio Adm.Code 4121:1-5-11(E) encompasses all operator-activated press activity, whether intentional or accidental." Id. at P20.