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OSHA: Gulf Cable LLC Willfully Exposed Workers to Machine Hazards

June 1, 2017
Milton, Fla.-based electrical cable manufacturer Gulf Cable LLC has been cited for a dozen violations after a 26-year-old worker became caught in and crushed in a machine that lacked the proper machine guards.

On Nov. 29, 2016, 26-year-old Jonathan Gilmore was guiding electrical wiring cable into a re-spool machine.

Gilmore, a Gulf Cable LLC employee, became caught in the equipment, crushing him to death. OSHA subsequently opened an investigation and has now cited the Milton, Fla.-based manufacturer for failing to protect workers.

“Jonathan Gilmore’s death could have been prevented,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, Fla. in a statement. “Employers have a responsibility to provide safe work environments for their workers regardless of production schedules. When employers fail to use equipment properly and safely, they put employees at risk of serious injury or worse.”

During the investigation, the agency found the machine in which Gilmore was fatally injured did not have machine guards. Because of this, Gulf Cable received a willful violation and proposed $126,749 in fines for "failing to install safety guards to protect workers from the in-going lay of the cable as it was being wound on the spool while operating the re-spool machine on the take-up side, exposing employees to caught-in and crushing hazards."

Gulf Cable LLC also received seven serious violations that included:

29 CFR I 910.22(b)(l): Employees were observed stepping over cable that was being wound on the re-spool machine on the take-up side. Aisles and passageway’s were not kept clear with no obstructions across on in the aisles, exposing employees to trip and fall hazards.

29 CFR 1910.22(c): Gulf Cable did not provide guardrails around the pit area on the southwest side of the plant where the seal box for MV #1 and 2 is located, exposing employees to slip, trip and fall hazards.

29 CFR l910.212(a)(1): The employer bypassed two safety disconnect switches and did not provide safety guards to prevent operators from coming into contact with the rotating bobbins of small cable as it binds into a larger cable when operating the screening machine line #2, exposing employees to caught-in and crushing hazards.

29 CFR 1910.219(d)(l): The company did not provide a guard over the in-going nip points between the pulleys and belts in the belt caterpillar of the jacket line #1 and #2, exposing employees to caught-in hazards.

29 CFR 1910.219(e)(1)(i): Gulf Cable LLC did not provide a guard over the horizontal belts in the belt caterpillar of the jacket line#1 or #2, exposing employees to caught-in hazards.

29 CFR 1910.219(0(3): Sprocket wheels and chains which were seven -feet or less above floors or platforms were not enclosed for multiple machines.

29 CFR 1910.303(b)(7)(iv): The employer had three cut wires that were disconnected from the e-stop and foot pedal and left exposed inside the programmable logic controller (PLC) attached to the re-spool machine on the take-up side, exposing employees to electrical shock hazards.

29 CFR 191 0.334(b)(2): Gulf Cable LLC allowed employees to manually reach inside the programmable logic controller (PLC) attached to the re-spool machine on the take-up side to reset breakers while the machine was energized, exposing employees to electrical shock hazards.

The agency also cited the employer for one repeat violation for failing to develop, document and utilize hazardous energy control procedures to prevent machines from operating while employees performed service and maintenance.

OSHA issued a total of a dozen citations and proposed $226,431 in fines. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations for Gulf Cable can be viewed on OSHA's website.

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