Trailer Door Maker Fined $115,500 After Worker Burned in Accident

A March 15 accident that left a worker with second- and third-degree burns over much of his body has resulted in an Akron, N.Y., firm being fined $115,550 by OSHA.

Whiting Door Manufacturing Corp., which manufactures and sells trailer doors for the transportation industry, was cited for a total of 14 alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious violations of safety standards at its Cedar Street plant. OSHA's inspection was prompted by a March 15 accident in which an employee working on the plant's coating line fell into an elevated 7,000-gallon tank of hot caustic solution.

OSHA's inspection found that the company allegedly had removed previously installed protective grating that would have prevented such a fall at this and other locations on the coating line. Also, when workers requested a copy of the company's chemical hazard communication program after the accident, management refused to provide it, even though OSHA standards require it to do so, according to the agency.

"The company clearly knew it had to protect workers against falls into chemical tanks and provide information about the hazardous chemicals with which they work, yet refused to do so," said Art Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "The result was an accident that seriously burned a worker and conditions that exposed other workers to the same hazard."

OSHA issued two willful citations, carrying $68,000 in proposed fines, for these items.

The company also was fined $47,550 and issued 12 serious and other-than-serious citations for alleged deficiencies in the plant's confined space, lockout/tagout, hazard communication, lead and bloodborne pathogen programs and for allegedly failing to record all on-the-job injuries and illnesses within 7 days, as required.

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