A fatal fall at an Everett, Wash., aircraft maintenance plant has resulted in a $2.5 million compliance agreement between BFGoodrich Aerospace MRO Group Inc. and the state's Department of Labor and Industries (Washington OSHA).
BFGoodrich has agreed to a pay a $600,000 penalty, spend $800,000 to promote worker and community safety and make $1.1 million worth of safety improvements beyond what is required for correcting the violations, including a third-party audit to verify compliance with the agreement.
In addition, the company admits that nine worker-safety rules were violated, including one willfully. Kenneth Stafford of Marysville, Wash., suffering fatal head injuries in a March 22, 1999, fall from a portable stairway stand used to provide access to airliners at the Paine Field facility. Stafford died five days later.
The agreement was based on Washington OSHA's six-month investigation and a desire to achieve the best resolution for the safety and health of the facility's workers, department Director Gary Moore said.
"This settlement enables us to avoid the distraction of a prolonged legal dispute and focus our attention on our employees and the business," said John Martin, vice president and general manager of BFGoodrich"s Airframe Services Division in Everett.
According to the violation report, the company:
- Willfully failed to ensure that all leadership personnel completed safety training relative to the company's operations of airframe maintenance and modification. In addition, the company failed to ensure that maintenance workers transferred or loaned to a new area received adequate safety orientation to hazards and duties of the new assignment.
- Failed to ensure that workers used appropriate fall arrest equipment while working from the basket of an extended-boom platform. The employer also did not ensure that a trained worker was operating the aerial lift.
- Failed to provide a safe workplace. Specifically, the employer failed to ensure the use of safety devices and safeguards, as well as the adoption of safe work practices, means, methods, operations and processes.
- Failed to establish, supervise and enforce a written accident prevention program as required. Violations included failure to investigate reported hazards, conduct daily walk around inspections and investigate serious injuries and illnesses in a timely manner.
- Failed to ensure that a first-aid response plan was developed or maintained or first aid-trained personnel were available on site as required.
- Failed to provide and ensure that emergency eye washing facilities were readily available in the immediate area where workers were exposed to harmful concentrations of contact chemicals.
The company's Everett facility is North America's largest independent aircraft repair station, employing 2,600 people.