Safety Failures Led to Fatality

Monday, September 7, 2015 @ 10:09 AM gHale

A 52-year-old maintenance manager died of head and neck injuries after a forklift struck him at metal recycling facility in Waukesha, WI.

Working without head protection, the man was hoisting an oxygen cylinder onto the forklift when the accident occurred, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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OSHA investigators found the worker’s employer, Waukesha Iron & Metal, did not safely handle compressed gas cylinders or require workers to wear protective head equipment. OSHA also found some forklifts were unsafe and the company did not train employees on operating them safely.

The company is now facing $42,000 in fines for nine serious and two other-than-serious safety violations.

“Proper safety training in using forklifts and handling cylinders and protective head safety gear could have prevented this tragedy,” said Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “Common-sense safety precautions should always be priority one on any work site.”

Waukesha Metal & Iron has been operating since 1956, processing large scrap metal parts including those from salvaged vehicles.

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