Maintenance worker crushed by machine part

Published
August 10, 2016 - 11:30am

A 57-year-old maintenance worker was crushed fatally by a 4,000 pound machine part while performing maintenance inside of a sand core machine at a Warrensburg, Mont. aluminum foundry.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found his employer, Stahl Specialty Company, did not use lockout devices and other machine safety procedures to prevent unintentional movement of the part - known as a ram - while the worker was inside the machine. OSHA cited the company for one repeated and five serious safety violations on July 29, after the agency completed its investigation into the Feb. 15, 2016, death.

"An employee who had been with the company 40 years lost his life because his employer failed to follow safety procedures to prevent machine parts from moving during maintenance," said Todd Sieleman, OSHA's acting area director in Kansas City. "Foundries have inherent dangers and employers like Stahl Specialty need to review their safety procedures to protect workers on the job."

While investigating the fatality OSHA found Stahl Specialty Company:

  • Failed to isolate all sources of energy in or to the equipment.
  • Did not protect employees from unexpected machine movements during maintenance.
  • Lacked machine-specific lockout procedures.
  • Failed to adequately train workers on proper lockout procedures.
  • Failed to coordinate lockout procedures with an outside contractor.
  • Did not correct illegible markings on a crane pendant control box.

Proposed penalties total $105,000. View citations here.

Based in Kingsville, Stahl Specialty Company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Kansas City office at 816-502-0297.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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