A Kentucky company that manufactures plastic components for the automotive industry is facing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines resulting from the accidental deaths of two employees last year according to a press account which detailed the incidents recently.
The employees died days apart in reportedly unrelated accidents.
The first, a female employee, was attempting to change a mold in an injection machine last October when she was struck in the head by an overhead crane. One of the fines for that incident specifically cited the lack of a lockout-tagout procedure during mold changes.
The second incident occurred while OSHA inspectors were in the plant investigating the first. In this incident, the employees were using an improperly grounded adapter that had been manufactured in-house at the plant. This infraction was also designated as “serious” by OSHA and resulted in a recommendation of the maximum fine allowed under OSHA guidelines.
Both of the incidents were fully documented in press accounts, underscoring both the financial and human cost on the plant’s employees in addition to the two workers who were fatally injured. A newspaper story of the incidents paints a sad picture of accidents that would likely have been preventable had the company adhered to OSHA guidelines for lockout/tagout and other safety procedures.
The company signed off on one of the fines with OSHA, but the other has not been concluded as of the press accounts detailing the accidents.
The lack of adequate lockout-tagout procedures at the company underscored the importance of retaining the right expertise when designing and implementing such procedures.
Companies desiring procedures specific to the nature of the work being done at their facilities contact ESC Services, a Rockwell Automation Business, which specializes in researching, designing and implementing procedures that are intended to keep employees safe and, as a result, keep the company operating safely and efficiently.