Region 1 News Release: BOS 2001-166
Monday, November 5, 2001
Contact: John Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
CRUSHING DEATH LEADS TO $68,700 IN OSHA CITATIONS AND PENALTIES
BOSTON -- The July 25 crushing death of a worker who became caught between the frame and a moving column in a milling machine has resulted in $68,700 in proposed fines against a Canton, Mass., manufacturer.
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tuthill Vacuum Systems, of 495 Turnpike St., for 21 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for numerous hazards, including failing to adequately guard the machine to prevent employees from coming in contact with its rotating and reciprocating parts.
"The inspection found that a guard located on the back side of the machine in question was inadequate in that it did not prevent workers from entering the machine while it was operating," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA area director for Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts. "This exposed the deceased and any other worker who entered the machine to crushing injuries, just the type of hazard machine guarding is supposed to prevent."
OSHA's inspection also identified several other machine guarding deficiencies as well as hazards involving damaged, ungrounded, misused or exposed live electrical parts or equipment; lack of an emergency eyewash station where required; failure to inspect crane slings and ropes; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; excess noise levels; and failure to train employees in hazardous energy control.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. A detailed description of the citations and proposed fines is attached.
Tuthill Vacuum Systems has 15 working days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Braintree, Mass., area office.
Citations and Proposed Penalties to Tuthill Vacuum Systems - Canton, Mass.
Twenty alleged serious violations, with $68,700 in proposed fines, for:
- inadequate guarding of rotating and reciprocating parts on machinery;
- unguarded points of operation on machinery;
- unguarded shafting; an inadequately guarded fan; a guard not firmly affixed to a machine;
- dispensing of flammable liquid into an unapproved container; emergency eyewash station not provided for a worker handling caustic chemicals; two containers of toluene and alcohol not labeled with their identities and respective hazard warnings;
- failure to establish written hazardous energy control procedures; affected employees not trained on energy control procedures; authorized employees not adequately trained on lockout/tagout requirements; failure to conduct annual or more frequent inspections of the lockout/tagout program;
- failure to inspect hooks and running ropes on overhead cranes;
- exposed live electrical parts; unguarded electrical enclosure; open ground on a receptacle providing power to an ungrounded work light; ungrounded extension cords; misused flexible cord; inadequate strain relief for electric cords;
- failure to implement a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excess noise levels.
One alleged other than serious violation for failing to remove a damaged sling from service.
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.