Auto Parts Maker Fined after Fatality

Monday, December 15, 2014 @ 04:12 PM gHale

A 21-year-old machine operator ended up fatally crushed at Ventra Belvidere LLC while reaching into a machine to align parts made for Chrysler vehicles.

After an investigation into the incident on June 10, 2014, the 106-employee Belvidere, IL, facility is now facing $93,400 in fines for one willful and four serious safety violations for exposing workers to dangerous machinery and other hazards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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“This tragic death was preventable if Ventra Belvidere ensured proper machine guarding,” said Jacob Scott, OSHA’s area director in Aurora. “Failure to protect employees from dangerous machinery often leads to catastrophic injury or death. These violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA.”

The investigation found the sensing device to detect if someone was in the machine was improperly set, which allowed the device to cycle while the employee reached into the machine. OSHA issued a willful violation for failure to guard a sequencing machine properly. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

OSHA cited Ventra Belvidere for four serious violations for failure to guard other machines properly, conduct periodic evaluations of lockout/tagout procedures and to train workers on the procedures. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.



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