OSHA says fatality caused by failure to instruct workers on unintentional startups

by on April 8, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

A scrap metal table was unintentionally lowered at a Bridgeton, MO, plant and crushed a 58-year-old worker to death; OSHA placed Hussmann Corp. in its severe violators program and fined the company $272,000 for three willful violations.

The most serious charges were not installing lockout devices on some machinery and failure to train workers to avoid unintentional-startup injuries during maintenance. The worker had accidentally lowered the table and was caught between it and a railing.

The company also allegedly used inadequate lockout devices in some cases, such as electronic gate switches instead of an energy-isolating device.

Good safety directors don’t face egregious violations, but there is a lesson here in double-checking that lockout devices are installed (not disabled), and that lockout training is up-to-date for all workers. As this case shows, lockout errors are unforgiving.

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