Fatality Prompts OSHA Inspection, Fines

A Columbus, Ohio, foam insulation manufacturing plant is facing $155,000 in proposed OSHA fines and two willful citations following the death of an employee in August.

According to OSHA, a female worker at Insulfoam-Columbus died after being caught in and crushed by moving machinery that had not been properly guarded.

OSHA issued two willful citations to the company for allegedly allowing the practice of bypassing interlock guards and for allegedly failing to enforce lockout/tagout procedures.

The agency issued a serious citation alleging the lack of an annual lockout audit and one repeat citation alleging the lack of lockout/tagout training for employees.

"The tragedy of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from failing to prevent unintended movement of dangerous machinery is made worse by the fact that such hazards are entirely preventable," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA area director in Columbus.

OSHA had conducted two previous inspections since May 2003, resulting in serious violations of OSHA standards covering lockout/tagout issues, machine guarding, powered industrial trucks and blood borne pathogen regulations.

A call made to Insulfoam was not returned.

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