Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 3


March 11, 2024

 

Federal investigators cite Butler County, Pennsylvania, company for exposing workers to hazards after employee suffers fatal injuries

Vorteq Coil Finishers, LLC faces $345K OSHA penalty, deemed 'severe violator'

 

VALENCIA, PA – A federal investigation has determined a Valencia finishing company could have prevented a 46-year-old supervisor from suffering fatal injuries in September 2023 by following required safety standards.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened a fatality investigation against Vorteq Coil Finishers LLC on Sept. 6, 2023. The agency determined the employee was instructed to clean a chrome roller on a coater machine while in operation. The employee was pulled into the machine and suffered fatal injuries. 

OSHA cited the company for two willful and two serious violations based, in part, for failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures and not installing machine guarding. The agency has also proposed $345,685 in penalties. In addition, OSHA has placed the company in the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

"Vorteq Coil Finishers' failure to value employee safety created conditions that cost a worker his life,"" said OSHA Area Office Director Christopher Robinson in Pittsburgh. "This incident, and the company's history of similar incidents and serious injuries at this and other plants, emphasize the crucial need for a shift in company culture to make worker safety and health a core workplace principle. OSHA will continue to monitor and hold the company accountable until there are sufficient changes."

"All evidence gathered during the inspection revealed that management employees at the highest level of the plant knew how dangerous it was to clean this machine while it was operating but required employees to do so to minimize downtime and maximize production,"" Robinson added.

Vorteq Coil Finishers, LLC is a finisher of steel and aluminum coils. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalties to comply and submit payment or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Learn about OSHA.

 

Media Contacts:             

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Release Number:  24-447-PHI