Crushing Hazards at Metal Fabricator

Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 06:07 PM gHale


G2K Corp., doing business as GBC Inc. in Lakewood, CO, is facing $82,600 in fines for 13 safety violations following a March incident where a worker was seriously injured after an overhead crane dropped a load, pinning him to the ground and resulting in amputation at the knee.

The citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) include one willful and one repeat violation. GBC is a custom metal fabricator and machining facility that employs 50 workers.

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The willful violation was for failing to use an approved lifting device to attach the load to the hook of the overhead crane.

An unapproved C-clamp slid off a 2,600-pound press brake ram as it lifted, causing the ram to fall to the ground and pin the worker. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge of or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The repeat violation was for failing to guard a lathe and two milling machines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously faced citations for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company faced a similar violation in 2009 at the Lakewood work site.

Some of the eight serious violations involve forklift-powered industrial trucks which include failing to provide seat belts; conduct daily inspections and train workers.

The remaining serious violations include failure to inspect lifting slings and remove damaged slings from service; failing to secure grinders and drill presses to the floor; properly adjust work rests and peripheral guards on bench grinders; reduce compressed air used for cleaning purposes to less than 30 psi; and correct hazard communication program deficiencies. These deficiencies include failing to identify all hazardous chemicals in the workplace, failing to ensure chemical containers were properly labeled and failing to provide material safety data sheets for all chemicals. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Three other-than-serious violations involve failing to label exit doors, failing to mark voltage ratings on electrical panels and make them accessible and failing to label circuit breakers. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“The employers’ lack of preparedness is unconscionable, and OSHA will not tolerate exposing workers to such negligence,” said David Nelson, OSHA’s Englewood area director.



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