Ten major incidents reported to OSHA in 2015
OSHA discovered an ice plant “failed again to guard machinery.” An employee at the location fell into an unprotected conveyor while breaking up ice. It resulted in the amputation of both the worker’s legs below the knee. OSHA laid down the law on November 18 for the May incident, citing the ice company for one willful, five serious and three other-than-serious violations as well as proposed fines of $77,000. In 2012, an employee of the same company had a foot amputated ensuing the touching of a conveyor.
OSHA cites construction company in death of heavy equipment operator. A 26-year-old employee was struck in the head and killed by a metal tow rope connection while he was in the process of operating a front-end loader on April 11. OSHA cited the company with two serious and one other-than-serious safety violation with $14,630 in proposed penalties. The company was also cited for failing to notify OSHA of the death of an employee within eight hours of the work-related incident. The death was not reported until two days later.
OSHA discovered an “improperly equipped furnace” caused a lethal explosion at a manufacturing plant. 27-year-old Jacob Lopez was struck and killed when a boiler lid 20 feet in diameter shot off at the plant. Three others were injured in the March 27 incident. OSHA cited the company with “eight serious - including two general duty clause citations - and one other-than-serious citation.” Proposed penalties came out to $42,000. OSHA determined that, had the furnace been properly equipped with the correct vacuum/pressure gauge that prevents and detects buildup of hydrogen gas, the explosion could have been prevented.
Potato processor fined over ammonia releases. The factory “failed to safeguard employees” when a “potentially lethal” amount (1,300 lbs.) of anhydrous ammonia was released at the facility. The December 1 incident resulted in no injuries or fatalities but OSHA issued the company 19 serious and two willful citations as well as hand down a $273,000 proposed fine.
Steel worker injured after crane’s safety latch fails and drops 1,000-lb. load. A seven-year employee of the steel company suffered a broken foot and broke many other bones during the accident at the plant. OSHA issued one willful, one repeated and two serious safety citations as well as proposed fines of $393,500. The plant was also placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. “This worker is lucky to be alive,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director. “We also observed conditions where workers could have fallen or lost limbs. It is unacceptable that the company has repeatedly been cited for these same hazards.” OSHA inspected the plant eight days before the incident when they issued eight repeated, eight serious and one other-than-serious violation.
Two separate incidents result in same fate at two different factories. On January 12, a worker was killed when the vehicle he was working under fell from its makeshift support and crushed him. Two weeks later, a similar tragedy occurred when a van fell on an employee of a salvage yard. OSHA’s inspection discovered that “neither (company) had basic safety programs or precautions in place.” The proposed fines totaled $16,800 and $9,800.
Paper mill has been cited by OSHA following the death of an employee servicing a high-speed conveyor belt. A 46-year-old man suffered fatal injuries after his employer did not ensure that the equipment was properly powered down and locked before the man entered the hazardous area. The mill was issued one willful, one repeat and two serious safety violations for the October 27 incident. In addition, the company’s proposed fine was $119,000.
Furniture company fails again to protect workers from moving machine parts. A machine caused the amputation of a 56-year-old employee’s right ring finger. The company failed to report the incident to OSHA and a person outside of the company informed OSHA of the injury nearly a month later. OSHA issued two willful violations and cited the company with two other-than-serious safety violations and issued proposed penalties of $83,200 in the aftermath of the March 11 incident. In January 2015, OSHA cited the company for 38 safety violations and the proposed fine totaled $1,766,000.
Popular Supermarket chain has problems of “recurring hazards”. A well-known supermarket has seen two preventable injuries in its bakery. A sanitation crew member lost his fingertip “when it caught in the pinch point of an operating conveyor that he was cleaning”. A month after this injury, a mechanic suffered a first degree burn on his wrist when steam released while he was repairing a valve. “If (the company) had used proper safeguards, these preventable injuries would not have happened,” said Michael Scime, the area director of OSHA. Proposed fines total $188,200.
Plastic manufacturer sees two workers suffer amputations of fingers. Just two weeks apart from each other, two employees had their middle and ring fingers amputated “as they removed material jammed in shearing machines that cut plastic”. OSHA cited the company with two repeated, 18 serious and two other-than-serious safety and health violations. The proposed penalties totaled $141,000 for the incidents. “Unfortunately, it took two amputations for (the company) to address known safety hazards at its facility,” said Bill Fulcher, OSHA’s director of the Atlanta-East Area Office.
All hazardous situations are preventable.
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