The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Howard Industries, Inc., in Ellisville, MS, for 17 safety violations following the January death of a worker electrocuted while calibrating a transformer test station.
Proposed penalties for the citations total $169,500.
According to an OSHA report, two serious violations related to the fatality include not requiring employees to use work safety practices when dealing with live electrical circuits and failing to use locks and tags when de-energizing test equipment.(WCxKit)
Howard Industries has seven manufacturing facilities. The Ellisville plant develops, designs, and manufacturers power transformers. It employs approximately 167 workers.
Six additional serious violations include: failing to develop specific lockout/tagout procedures, failing to conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment, missing a mid-rail on an elevated platform, exposing employees to potential electric shock hazards without providing them insulated gloves or other protective equipment, allowing a plasma cutter operator to not wear safety glasses, and having an unguarded shaft. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Three repeat violations include: failing to provide machine guarding on the press brake and welder, not having noncombustible welding screens for employees, and flexible cords in place of fixed wiring. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited 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. The company was cited for all four of these same violations at its Laurel plant in June 2009.(WCxKit)
One other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to install metal receptacles in accordance with listing and labeling instructions. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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