Suffocation Leads to $201,500 OSHA Fine

June 21, 2000
Citations are issued after investigation of death at Westwood\r\nAluminum Castings of Waukesha, Wis.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations alleging four willful and five serious violations and a proposed penalty of $201,500 to Westwood Aluminum Castings in Waukesha, Wis., after a worker suffocated inside a sand silo.

According to George Yoksas, area director for the Milwaukee OSHA office, a safety inspection was conducted after the agency received a referral about a fatality that occurred Dec. 17. In that accident, an employee suffocated while working inside a sand silo that was placed in operation.

Four citations for alleged willful violations were issued to the firm, two for confined space and two for lockout procedures. The employer had comprehensive written programs for the confined space standard and the lockout standard but failed to implement them.

Five citations for alleged serious violations were issued for machine guarding, hook maintenance, electrical standards and working surfaces One citation for an alleged other-than-serious violation was issued for chain slings that lacked identification. The slings did not have a required tag that indicated the rated size, grade and capacity.

by Todd Nighswonger

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