Safety Fines for Mixing Equipment Fatality

Monday, June 9, 2014 @ 12:06 PM gHale

After becoming entangled in mixing equipment used for cattle feed, an Anderson Farms employee died from mass trauma in Heyburn, ID, in February.

As a result Anderson Farms is facing fines of $25,200 for five safety violations, including three serious, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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“This terrible tragedy sadly demonstrates that a worker’s life can be lost in an instant because of an employer’s failure to implement required safety measures,” said David Kearns, area director of OSHA’s Boise office. “There are easy safeguards to ensure that workers do not get caught in live machines during servicing and maintenance, and employers have the responsibility to take protective steps.”

OSHA’s Boise Area Office cited Anderson Farms for three serious violations for failure to establish a lockout/tagout program and procedures to protect workers from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance activities.

The employer failed to provide hardware, such as locks, to prevent the unexpected or sudden start-up of equipment during these activities, according to the report. Other violations relate to failure to follow permit-required confined space entry regulations. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Two other-than-serious violations were for the company’s failure to report the death of a worker and to keep an OSHA injury and illness log. 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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