Lockout Tagout Violation Results in Crush Death at New York Company

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Metalico Rochester Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following the death of an employee at its 50 Portland Ave. recycling facility in Rochester, N.Y.
 
 
According to an OSHA report, the worker, who operated a large baler, was fatally crushed on June 4 when the machine unexpectedly activated while he was clearing material and he became caught between the baler's pusher block/ram and its return cavity.
 
 
The inspection by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office found that the company had not developed and used procedures to lock out the baler's power source and also did not provide workers with the required training on those procedures. OSHA's hazardous energy control standard requires that machines be shut down and their power sources locked or tagged out to prevent them from activating while workers are cleaning or performing maintenance on them. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA had cited Metalico Rochester Inc. in March 2010 for similar hazards at a Pittsburgh, Pa., location. The recurrence of those conditions in this case resulted in citations for two repeat violations. 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. Additionally, one serious violation was cited for not providing safe access to the baler. 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 means by which employers can prevent new and recurring hazards is for them to work proactively and cooperatively with their employees to develop, implement and effectively maintain an illness and injury prevention program," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional director in New York. [WCx]
 
 
Detailed information on controlling hazardous energy, including an interactive E Tool, is available for workers and employers online at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/index.html.
 
 
Proposed penalties total $73,300. Metalico Rochester Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with OSHA's Buffalo area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
 
Product liability issues: In cases such as this involving lack of machine guarding and lack of warnings and/or training, adjusters must look carefully for potential to bring in additional parties to cover the loss costs such as machinery manufacturer's with potential responsibility for designing unsafe or defective equipment. If a safer design is available for a machine or it's guarding system, the manufacturer has the responsibility to do so; they must  "design out" the defects not just issue a warning about the defect. Simply slapping a warning on a product with inherent defects will not save the responsible party from being held responsible.
 


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. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Georgia Refuse Recycler Investigated Worker Found Dead Inside Machine

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Georgia-based Marietta Industrial Enterprises Inc., which operates Refuse Recycling in Marietta, for 21 safety violations, including two willful, violations.
 
 
According to OSHA, it opened an inspection after a worker was found dead inside the rotating drum assembly of a machine used to screen recyclables from other refuse. (WCxKit)
 
 
Two willful violations involve failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from becoming unexpectedly energized and to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
 
 
Additionally, 14 serious violations involve failing to provide machine guarding, provide adequate guardrails, mark and illuminate emergency and exit signs, evaluate the workplace to determine if there were any confined spaces that would require permits, examine powered industrial trucks prior to each shift, ensure that employees used electrical protective equipment, provide electrically insulated tools develop an exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, offer hepatitis B vaccines and label biohazard containers. 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.
 
 
Finally, five other-than-serious violations involve using work areas for storage, as well as failing to record work-related injuries, maintain clean conditions, provide a written respiratory protection program and provide employees with information for voluntary respirator use. 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 injury.
 
 
As a result of the investigation, Marietta Industrial Enterprises has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. (WCxKit)
 

SVEP is intended to focus on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe, industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards, employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals and all per-instance citation (egregious) enforcement actions.

 
 
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.

WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

OSHA Cites Retail Grocery Chain’s Bakery Section for Unhealthy Worker Conditions

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Wegmans Food Markets Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company's corporate bakery and distribution center in Rochester, N.Y.
 
 
According to a report from OSHA, the retail grocery chain faces a total of $195,200 in proposed fines, chiefly for inadequate safeguards, to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA's hazardous energy control, or lockout/tagout, standard mandates that machines be shut down and the power sources locked out before workers perform maintenance. The standard also requires proper procedures, training and equipment to ensure that machines cannot be unintentionally activated and seriously injure workers performing maintenance on machines.
 
 
Inspections by OSHA's Buffalo area office found that Wegmans failed to develop, utilize and follow lockout/tagout procedures and to adequately train workers on hazards and procedures related to lockout/tagout hazards at this facility. OSHA had cited Wegmans in 2007 and 2010 for similar hazards at Wegmans locations in Rochester, so these recurring hazards resulted in citations for four repeat violations with $140,000 in proposed fines. 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. (WCxKit)
 
 
 
OSHA also identified electrical, machine guarding, mechanical and ventilation hazards related to ovens in the bakery, and a fall hazard in the distribution center. These conditions resulted in citations for nine serious violations with $55,200 in fines. 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.
 
 
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.
 
 

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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