Worker's Death Brings $47,000 in Proposed OSHA Penalties

Failing to protect employees from machine guarding hazards may cost the Ivy Steel and Wire Co. $47,000 in penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

On April 1, a worker at the company's plant was operating two machines that spun wire onto rotating spools. As one spool reached capacity the operator attempted to stop the machine but was caught around the neck by a loop of wire and killed.

"Employees must be protected from the power, speed and relentless motion of moving machine parts," said Luis Santiago, OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale area director. "Failing to employ proper machine guarding can result in amputations and death."

The company received two serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $12,000 for failing to properly guard rotating machine parts.

The agency also issued two repeat citations with proposed penalties totaling $35,000 for failing to properly guard machine pulleys and to implement lockout-tagout procedures, making the machine inoperable during wire threading, welding or maintenance.

OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. A repeat citation is issued when OSHA has cited a company within the past three years for similar violations and the citations have become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The company, a division of MMI Products Inc., has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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