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Missouri Manufacturer Named a Severe Violator by OSHA after Worker Killed on the Job

March 17, 2015
OSHA says the tragedy could have been prevented.

A 58-year-old maintenance worker at Hussmann Corp.'s Bridgeton, Mo., facility was killed after being pinned between a scrap metal table and a railing, OSHA found.

OSHA placed the food retailer in its severe violators program for the Sept. 16, 2014, incident, which it said could have been avoided if the company had taken the proper safety precautions.

"This tragic loss could have been prevented," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "OSHA inspectors found workers at risk of life-threatening hazards because Hussmann Corp. failed to train its workforce to prevent unintentional operation of dangerous machinery. This company needs to fix safety procedure deficiencies, so no other family is forced to suffer."

OSHA said Hussmann failed to prevent the table from lowering, and cited the company with three willful and 12 serious safety violations.

Hussmann received three willful violations for not placing devices on machinery to prevent the sudden startup or movement of equipment during lockout/tagout; and for failing to fix problems related to its lockout/tagout procedures, like using electronic gate switches in place of an energy-isolating device.

The company also didn’t train workers on safety procedures; didn’t have effective safeguards for moving parts on machinery; and had unsafe practices related to powered industrial trucks.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $272,250.

Hussmann employs about 5,000 workers worldwide, 580 of whom are at its headquarters in Bridgeton.

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