Battery Charger Maker Fined in Fatality

Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 04:05 PM gHale

A 31-year-old assembly technician was working at battery charger manufacturer, Ferro Magnetics Corp.’s Bridgeton, MO, facility for about a month when he was testing transformers this past November and ended up electrocuted.

The man’s death could have been avoidable if his employer, Ferro Magnetics Corp., had supplied adequate personal protective equipment, followed safety procedures and provided training, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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“In seconds, a family was altered forever, and a young girl is now fatherless,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Companies that operate with high-voltage electricity must train workers to recognize hazards and use proper procedures to prevent electrical shock. No one should die on-the-job. Ferro Magnetics must act now to train its workers, so that another family does not suffer.”

Ferro Magnetics is facing $106,400 in fines for one willful and 14 serious safety violations at its Bridgeton facility.

In its inspection, OSHA found multiple electrical safety hazards; machines with moving parts without safety guards; and inadequate protections to stop machine starts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also found workers did not have hand, eye and face protection supplied by the company. Additionally, hazardous chemicals ended up stored improperly and employees were able to use damaged powered industrial trucks.

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