On April 16, Arturo Gonzales, a 42-year-old worker at Marshall Pottery Inc.’s Marshall, Texas manufacturing plant was servicing a kiln.
The equipment activated, trapping Gonzales inside, killing him. Gonzales left behind three children and a wife. Medical examiners ruled the death as accidental due to “environmental hyperthermia.”
“This company was cited for similar violations in 2008 after another fatality at the plant,” said Basil Singh, OSHA area director in Dallas. “Failures to implement lockout/tagout and confined space programs are unacceptable. Employers must use all required safeguards and procedures to prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies.”
OSHA investigated and cited the company for six willful violations and 21 serious violations.
The 2008 fatality occurred as a result of similar circumstances. In that incident, Frederick Beham died after becoming trapped in a dryer used in the manufacturing process, according to news reports.
After the April incident, Marshall Pottery scheduled an informal conference with OSHA and agreed to pay $545,160 in citations. The company also agreed to abate the violations.