Trailer Maker Fined after Fatality

Friday, December 30, 2016 @ 01:12 PM gHale

After a 17-year-old worker died on the job at a Columbus, WI, metal fabrication facility, the company is now facing multiple safety and health violations.

Metal trailer fabricator G.D. Roberts & Co. Inc. is facing $119,725 in fines for 16 serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violations, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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Investigators found a machine pinned and injured the teenaged worker June 27 and he died of his injuries July 2.

“A young man suffered a tragic death shortly after starting a new job, leaving his family to grieve their overwhelming loss,” said Ann Grevenkamp, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “Proper lockout devices along with training could have prevented this tragedy.”

Investigators determined the worker was clearing scrap below a loading table for an operating laser-cutter system when the machine lowered onto the victim, trapping him beneath.

OSHA found the company failed to ensure procedures to lockout the machine to prevent unintentional movement were followed, and did not train its employees properly in such safety procedures.

The agency also found G.D. Roberts failed to:
• Conduct periodic inspections of machine safety procedures
• Affix lockout devices to isolate energy prior to allow employees to enter machine hazard areas
• Conduct noise monitoring
• Provide employee’s audiograms
• Train workers about noise hazards
• Follow respiratory protection standards such as fit-testing, training and medical evaluations for employees
• Evaluate for airborne hazards
• Implement engineering controls for dust and other airborne hazard exposure resulting in employee overexposure
• Maintain chemical inventories
• Train workers in forklift operation
• Seek manufacturer approval prior to modifying forklifts
• Train employees about chemicals in use in the workplace and maintain a chemical inventory

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