US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Globe Metallurgical in Selma, Ala., for
serious and repeat safety violations following worker fatality
SELMA, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Globe Metallurgical Inc. with five safety violations following the death of a worker who died after falling 16 feet off a fixed ladder while working in a feeder tunnel at the company's Selma plant.
OSHA's Mobile Area Office initiated an inspection on Oct. 26, 2012, in response to the fatality, conducted concurrently with a follow-up inspection at the company.
Three repeat safety violations involve failing to ensure workers were protected from floor openings, that all railings on the electrode platform met minimal requirements; and all electrical panels, boxes and fittings had closed knockouts. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited following OSHA's 2009 and 2010 inspections.
Two serious safety violations involve failing to ensure workers in the feeder tunnel were not exposed to an unguarded skip hoist, as well as for exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards by allowing combustible dust to accumulate on surfaces, such as electrical panels, ledges and I-beams. 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.
"This incident could have been prevented. Employers cannot allow workers to be exposed to unguarded equipment or fire/explosion hazards," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "It's imperative that management eliminate hazards from the workplace."
The citations for the repeat and serious violations carry $106,000 in proposed penalties. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/globemetallurgical_709718_7717458_717480.pdf*.
Globe Metallurgical Inc. is engaged in the smelting of silicon from wood chips and river rocks that is later used in the manufacture of a wide range of industrial and commercial products. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 216-893-7828 or TTY 216-893-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.