OSHA Cites Selma Smelter for Safety Hazards

Nov. 30, 2004
Following the investigation of a fatal accident, OSHA has cited Globe Metallurgical Inc., of Selma, Ala., and proposed $40,500 in total penalties for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

On May 28, a company employee reportedly was exposed to temperatures above 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit when an electric arc furnace erupted. The worker died June 6 from severe burns.

"This tragedy could have been prevented if the company had followed recognized industry safety practices," said Ken Atha, OSHA's Mobile area director.

The company received two serious citations directly related to the accident for failing to require furnace operators to wear aluminized jackets and failing to automatically charge furnaces. The proposed penalties for these two alleged violations total $10,000.

OSHA also issued 11 additional serious citations, which included lack of required written safety plans, fall hazards, unsafe electrical equipment and modifications to motorized equipment not authorized by the manufacturer. Proposed penalties total $30,500.

OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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