OSHA's fatality inspection began Jan. 10, after a maintenance employee assigned to lubricate the dry end of a paper production machine was pinned between moving parts and crushed against a drum gear.
The agency issued 22 serious citations to the company for its alleged failure to:
- Use lockout-tagout procedures that would have rendered the machinery inoperative;
- Adequately train employees about procedures;
- Periodically inspect and certify the procedures; and
- Protect workers from electrical, fire and other hazards.
"This tragic accident could have been prevented if the company had followed required safety procedures," said John Deifer, OSHA's Savannah, Ga., area director. "Accidents like this simply should not happen."
Alabama, W.Va. Firms Receive Willful Violations
In other OSHA enforcement news, the agency has issued fines and one willful violation to a company from Alabama and a company from West Virginia.
OSHA is proposing $117,500 in fines against Onyx Industrial Services Inc. of Nitro, W.Va., for allegedly failing to protect its workers from safety and health hazards at its worksite in Cheshire, Ohio, while Montgomery, Ala.-based W.S. Newell Inc. faces proposed penalties totaling $59,100, following a trenching safety inspection at a Daphne, Ala., worksite.
Onyx Industrial Services was cited for one alleged willful, four alleged serious and one alleged repeat violations following an inspection by OSHA's Columbus area office in January. The investigation found that two employees became engulfed by lime slurry while hydroblasting inside a tank at the American Electric Power generating station in Cheshire.
The willful citation was issued for allegedly failing to implement confined space entry conditions, exposing employees to engulfment and entrapment hazards.
The agency issued one willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $49,500, to W.S. Newell alleging that employees were allowed to work in a 12-foot-deep excavation without an adequate protective system and without properly sloped trench walls. The company also received four serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $9,600 for alleged violations of safety and health standards.