Worker Death brings Safety Fines

Monday, March 11, 2013 @ 05:03 PM gHale


Manufacturer Komatsu is facing $82,000 in fines for safety violations in connection with a fatal workplace accident in August at its facility in Peoria, IL, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

Stanley Musgrave Jr., 53, of Norwood died Aug. 24, two days after suffering severe injuries, including severing his arm. Paramedics went to Building AA of the Komatsu facility at 2300 NE Adams St. in Peoria just after 11 p.m. Aug. 22.

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Musgrave was testing hydraulic cylinders for leakage when the hydraulic coupler on the return line of the hoist stand failed and released pressurized hydraulic fluid, according to a release from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

OSHA cited Komatsu America Corp. with four safety violations, two of them repeat offenses.

“Komatsu America has a responsibility to ensure equipment is maintained in good working order and that employees are properly trained in the safe operation of equipment they are required to use,” said Tom Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “This unfortunate incident might have been prevented had the employer addressed previous incidents where the hydraulic coupler had failed.”

The two repeat allegations from the federal agency include failing to develop machine-specific energy control procedures and training to make sure workers understand energy control procedures. The company faced similar violations at the Peoria facility in January 2011.

The company also faces two serious violations. Among those serious violations was the failure to evaluate and correct repeated catastrophic failures of critical machine parts. Authorized employees also were not included when conducting annual inspections, and annual inspection reviews of energy control procedures were not properly documented, the agency found.

Serious violations are ones that occur when there are hazards the employer knows or should have known about that create the substantial probability of death of serious physical harm.



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