Worker Death brings Safety Fines

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 @ 05:12 PM gHale


One worker died after sustaining blunt force trauma injuries at ATW Automation Inc.’s machine manufacturing facility in Dayton, OH, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials. The company is now facing $63,000 in fines for nine safety violations, including one repeat.

A conveyor that had lowered on July 27 during a “power down” process caught and pinned the worker and he died from his injuries a few days later.

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“ATW Automation has a responsibility to mandate effective measures that control hazardous energy in its manufacturing facility to ensure that machines will not become unexpectedly energized, which poses a risk of injury or death to workers. Failing to do so resulted in a tragedy,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Employers who are cited for safety, especially repeat, violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

One repeat violation is failing to conduct and document periodic inspections of specific energy control procedures in the fabrication and tool room departments. A repeat violation exists when an employer faced previous issues 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.

ATW Automation faced this violation based on a July 2008 inspection, conducted under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations and resulted in citations for five serious violations. At that time, the company operated as Advanced Automation Inc.

Seven serious violations from the most recent inspection involve a failure to guard the area around the roller lift conveyer to prevent workers from being exposed to moving parts, train employees on personal protective measures when working around electrical equipment, ensure that workers wear proper safety glasses, provide appropriate personal protective equipment for workers using a metal grinding wheel, implement an effective lockout/tagout program for machines’ energy sources and notify affected workers of “power down” conditions, develop specific energy control procedures for equipment, and train workers on the proper procedures to isolate and lock out all energy sources for machines in the fabrication and tool room departments. 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.

One other-than-serious violation is failing to conduct semiannual testing of insulated rubber gloves used for work with energized electrical equipment. 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.



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