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OSHA cites Florida manufacturer after worker's death

A work-related accident can lead to serious injuries and even death. In a recent tragic example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation of the death of a machine operator at a Pensacola electrical cable manufacturer resulted in 12 citations and proposed fines of $226,431.

The 26-year old worker died after being pulled into a re-spool machine and crushed as he was guiding electrical wire into the machine. OSHA said that this fatality was preventable and found that the manufacturer did not install required guarding on the machine to block the work from coming contact with the machine's moving parts. The 12 safety citations included one repeat, seven serious and three less than serious violations. Failure to maintain machinery was a factor in many of the charges.

The willful citation pertained to the manufacturer's failure to place guards that would prevent the cable from contacting machine operators as the cable winds onto the spool. The manufacturer was also cited for the repeat violation to develop, document and use hazardous energy control procedures that block the machine from operating during service and maintenance.

Serious citations were issued for failure to place guiderails on all four sides of the machine area. This exposed workers to tripping hazards. OSHA also charged the company with exposing workers to electrical shock or electrocution by failure to correct defective electrical wiring for an emergency stop pedal.

The manufacturer has 110 workers at this plant. They often work two separate 12-hour shifts every day of the week with 50 employees assigned to each shift.

The OSHA Jacksonville Area Director said that employers must provide safe working conditions for their employees regardless of production schedules or they place them at risk of serious injuries. The manufacturer may contest these citations to the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission within 15 business days.

As these citations show, employer negligence may lead to the most distressing consequences. An employer can help victims and their families seek fair and just compensation in a lawsuit.

Source: OSHA, "OSHA finds safety failures in its investigation of fatal incident at Florida electrical cable manufacturer,"

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