US Labor Department's OSHA cites ATW Automation with 9 safety
violations following worker's death at Dayton, Ohio, manufacturing facility
DAYTON, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited ATW Automation Inc. for nine safety violations after a worker sustained blunt force trauma injuries at the company's machine manufacturing facility in Dayton. The worker was caught and pinned by a conveyor that had lowered during a "power down" process, and he died from his injuries a few days later.
"ATW Automation has a responsibility to mandate effective measures that control hazardous energy in its manufacturing facility to ensure that machines will not become unexpectedly energized, which poses a risk of injury or death to workers. Failing to do so resulted in a tragedy," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "Employers who are cited for safety, especially repeat, violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."
One repeat violation is failing to conduct and document periodic inspections of specific energy control procedures in the fabrication and tool room departments. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. ATW Automation was cited for this violation based on a July 2008 inspection, which was conducted under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Amputations and resulted in citations for a total of five serious violations. At that time, the company operated as Advanced Automation Inc.
Seven serious violations from the most recent inspection involve a failure to guard the area around the roller lift conveyer to prevent workers from being exposed to moving parts, train employees on personal protective measures when working around electrical equipment, ensure that workers wear proper safety glasses, provide appropriate personal protective equipment for workers using a metal grinding wheel, implement an effective lockout/tagout program for machines' energy sources and notify affected workers of "power down" conditions, develop specific energy control procedures for equipment, and train workers on the proper procedures to isolate and lock out all energy sources for machines in the fabrication and tool room departments. 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.
One other-than-serious violation is failing to conduct semiannual testing of insulated rubber gloves that are used for work with energized electrical equipment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The incident that led to the most recent inspection occurred on July 27. Proposed penalties total $63,000. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
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.
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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 202-693-7830 or TTY 202-693-7755.