Frankfort, KY – Two employees of Montaplast were killed in separate incidents last fall while maintaining molding machines at the auto parts manufacturing facility.
Angela Mitchell, 35, and Benjamin Cermak, 23, died days apart, both while performing maintenance on molding machines. Mitchell, was killed after a portion of an overhead crane struck her in the head while she was attempting to change a mold in an injection molding machine. Cermak was electrocuted while troubleshooting an incorrectly wired “pigtail” unit adapter that controlled the hydraulics of an injection molding machine.
Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health (KOSH) has issued Montaplast fines totaling $21,000. “Serious” fines were issued for the plant’s use of swivel hoist rings that were stressed beyond capacity and were found to have not been regularly inspected. These rings failed during the mold change that killed Angela Mitchell.
Additional fines were issued for not using a “lockout-tagout” safety procedure during mold changes. State safety investigators also documented that no personal protective equipment was used during mold changes.
Montaplast makes precision plastic parts and systems for interior and exterior automotive engine components. With 750 employees, Montaplast is Franklin County’s largest private employer.
Tiffin, OH – Numerous and repeat machine safety violations have been documented at the American Fine Sinter facility, triggering $82,462 in federal safety fines for the auto parts supplier.
OSHA inspectors found five major failures in machine safety protocol at American Fine Sinter Co. Ltd, most of which the firm had already been cited for three years ago.
Just as they had in 2014, OSHA investigators documented the lack of a Lockout/Tagout program at the facility – American Fine Sinter had not established proper written procedures for cutting off power to equipment that was being serviced. These lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
Approximately 3 million American workers service equipment at their jobs – these employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the federal lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. A study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW) found that 20% of the fatalities that occurred among their members were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures.
In addition to lockout failures, OSHA found repeated machine safety violations. Investigators revealed that safety blocks were not being used when employees changed dies on mechanical presses, proper guards were not in place on machinery being tested, and that the proper controls were not in place to ensure press modes could not be changed without the operator’s knowledge. Another issue was the finding that American Fine Sinter Co. did not perform regular inspections of it’s machinery.
Training was also found to be a problem at the American Fine Sinter facility. OSHA’s investigations found that employees had not been adequately trained to safely use a mechanical press.
Auburndale, FL – A worker was electrocuted this week as a the result of a lockout mistake while attempting to fix a conveyor at Florida Caribbean Distillers.
Aaron Rowe, 33 years old, was reportedly attempting to fix a conveyor belt and had appeared to turn off the power. However, investigation has revealed that a wire connected to the motor was energized and the lockout/tagout system used to cut off power had been affixed to the wrong circuit breaker.
Lockout/Tagout refers to a system of that safety measures designed to properly shutdown machinery and ensure that those machines will not start up again during maintenance or servicing work. OSHA requires that each piece of equipment must have specific lockout procedures written just for it. The lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source feeding that piece of equipment, which helps to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
OSHA requires that lockout programs be audited periodically, and on an annual basis at minimum. A lockout audit requires a review of equipment or machine specific lockout procedures to confirm that each procedure accurately reflects the equipment’s energy sources and to identify any deficiencies. Regular lockout audits and evaluations ensure both compliance and a safe work environment.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports that Rowe was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital about an hour after being shocked. OSHA is investigating the incident.
Florida Caribbean Distillers produces rums, whiskeys and fruit liqueurs.
Decatur, IN – One employee died and another has been hospitalized in a confined space accident at the Manley Meats facility in Decatur (IN) this week.
Emergency crews were called to Manley Meats for a report of two unresponsive people on Wednesday afternoon. A statement from the Adams County Coroner says that work was being done on a sewer pit when one or both people became unresponsive. One worker died and another was airlifted to a local hospital.
Many workplaces contain areas that are considered to be “confined spaces” because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs.
A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. They include, but are not limited to: tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, and pipelines.
Martin Technical confined space services are designed to keep workers safe, and help companies meet OSHA regulations. Our experts can evaluate your work site to determine which spaces require permits, develop a written program and specific procedures for entering each confined space.
Manley Meats offers catering, butchering, canning, and retail operations at its Decatur location.
Topeka, KS – A worker fatality at the Goodyear Tire facility in Topeka has Goodyear and a local staffing agency facing combined OSHA fines of over $40,000 and multiple federal safety citations.
Kansas Personnel Services had hired James Lay, Jr. to work at the north Topeka Goodyear plant early on March 14 when he was killed. Reports have not detailed the nature of the worker fatality, however officials have classified it as an accident.
OSHA has levied three serious violations against Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Inc. and two more serious penalties against Kansas Personnel Services (which also goes by the name Key Staffing). The combined fines exceed $40,000.
OSHA documented that Goodyear failed to make sure metal pieces left leaning against a wall did not create a hazard; had pendant boxes that were not constructed to prevent electric shock; and did not inspect alloy steel chain slings on a regular basis or did so at intervals greater than a year. In all, Goodyear was fined $27,713.00.
Kansas Personnel Services was fined $12,675 for allegedly failing to make sure metal pieces were left leaning against a wall did not create a hazard; and not ensuring each operator had successfully completed their training.
Queensbury, NY – A worker injured while clearing a machine jam at a wood products facility in upstate NY has prompted a federal safety investigation. OSHA is citing the former RWS Manufacturing Inc. plant for seven safety violations documented during inspections in November and February, stemming from reports of an employee’s hospitalization. The wood shaving plant currently faces $59,577 in fines, and has been fined multiple times for alleged safety violations in the past.
Reports show an employee suffered a “work-related inpatient hospitalization” from a wood shaving machine where federal safety inspectors documented a lack of safety equipment of the type that would have been used when clearing a jam on the machine or performing other maintenance.
These safety devices and procedures are known as Lockout/Tagout (or LOTO). Lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, and preventing the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. OSHA requires equipment specific lockout procedures be written for each piece of equipment including any prime movers, and machinery and equipment with mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, thermal, and any other energy source.
There are approximately 3 million American workers tasked with servicing equipment. These employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities that occurred among their members were attributed to inadequate lockout/tagout procedures.
The OSHA investigation into this wood product plant marks the third time in the past four years that OSHA has fined the company over safety inspections, with a total of more than $360,000 in fines imposed during that period.
Canton, OH – OSHA has proposed fines of $279,578 for lockout and machine safety hazards found at the Republic Steel plant following an investigation prompted by an employee injury. Federal investigators determined that Republic failed to install locking devices on machine operating parts, and documented two repeated and five serious safety and health violations.
Last December, a 64-year-old worker suffered a broken pelvis after being struck by an unguarded and energized piece of equipment during maintenance. OSHA officials said the worker was injured after being struck by a sail (a large clamp that holds a steel billet) because machines didn’t have lockout devices that stop operation when maintenance is being performed.
Just eight days later, OSHA began a second investigation after workers complained about lead exposure. Investigators documented seven incidents of lead overexposure in the facility.
Searcy, AR – A worker who was seriously injured in a preventable lockout accident at Bryce Corporation Plant 8 last November has died from complications related to his injuries.
In November, 2016, Vernon Holland climbed inside a machine to fix a jam at the Bryce Corporation facility Searcy (AR). The machine was turned off at the time, but started back up while he was inside. Holland initially survived his injuries and spent months in the hospital. In April of this year, he was able to return home, but was re-hospitalized shortly afterward. Tragically, Holland died this month from numerous complications related to recovering from the workplace accident. His passing leaves four children fatherless.
Lockout Tagout programs and practices help to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. These written procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, and are an OSHA requirement.
Bryce Corporation Plant 8 in Searcy is less than an hour northeast of Little Rock, Arkansas. Bryce Corporation specializes in film conversion and manufactures flexible packaging.
Archbold, OH – Machine safety violations at Napoleon Spring Works have lead to $484,007 in OSHA fines. Federal inspectors cited the company for 21 violations, including two willful and nine repeat, following incidents of crushed and amputated fingers at the garage door parts manufacturer. An additional 10 violations were categorized as “serious.”
The willful and repeat violations stem from Napoleon Spring Works having been fined for similar violations in October, 2013. In the course of the 2012 inspection, the company was cited for exposing employees to both injury and amputation risk because of insufficient safeguards on various machinery. An OSHA representative stated that Napoleon Spring Works “made improvements” following the 2013 citations, “but then fell off” with their machine safety protocols.
Two recent incidents brought Napoleon Spring Works back to OSHA’s attention. Last October an employee loading and unloading parts suffered a crushed finger and an amputated finger while working on a mechanical power press that stamps out parts. OSHA’s report found that that machine lacked the proper safeguards to protect employees.
The following month, another employee lost a finger while trying to unjam a hinge-making machine. OSHA found that incident to have been the result of a failure in lockout/tagout practices since power to the machine had not being fully turned off while the employee was troubleshooting it. This was considered a “repeat” violation, and Napoleon Spring Works was cited for nott using lockout-tagout procedures for machinery and a failure to follow power control procedures.
Los Angeles, CA – Cal/OSHA has issued fines of $352,570 for ten serious and willful health and safety violations following an investigation into a confined space death. Cal/OSHA reports that neither Tyler Development or D&D Construction Specialties Inc. were in compliance with required confined space procedures.
An employee of D&D Construction entered a drainage shaft in October 2016 to clean out mud and debris. No personal fall protection was utilized as the worker descended via bucket 10 ft. into the shaft. Reports state that the shaft was 4.5 ft. in diameter and lined with concrete. The worker lost consciousness due to the oxygen deficient atmosphere in the confined space, fell 40 ft., and then drowned in one foot of water.
According to Cal/OSHA, Tyler Development was the general contractor constructing a single-family residence in the Bel Air area. They had subcontracted D&D Construction to install and service reinforced concrete posts known as caissons1 on the property.
These violations have been classified as willful because D&D Construction was cited in 2012 for similar safety violations at a different job site. In total, D&D has to pay a proposed $337,700 for 13 violations, including two willful serious accident-related, one willful serious, one serious accident-related, six serious, and three general in nature.
According to Cal/OSHA, the D&D Construction failed to ensure safe entry into the confined space; failed to have an effective method for rescuing the worker in the confined space in an emergency; and failed to test the environment to determine if additional protective equipment, such as a respirator or oxygen tank, were required to work safely in the shaft.
For their part, Tyler Development was cited $14,870 for five violations, three of them serious, for a failure to evaluate the worksite for possible permit-required confined spaces and failure to ensure that the subcontractor meets all requirements to comply with a permit space program.