Feb. 5, 2015
Explosion at Madden Bolt steel manufacturer kills worker
Workplace incident results in 2nd employee death in a year
HOUSTON – A 31-year-old worker was the second person killed in a year at Madden Bolt Corp. when a cutting-table explosion in August 2014 hurled the employee and a steel plate into the air. The plate then landed on the fallen worker, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators determined. As a result, OSHA has cited the Houston-based employer for 10 serious violations.
In September 2013, a forklift driver at Madden Bolt died after the machine turned over and pinned him underneath.
The inspection that followed the explosion found serious violations which include failing to: ensure that the air and gas concentration in the cutting table did not accumulate to create an explosion; protect fuel cylinders from damage; place safety guards on band saws and a pipe press that exposed workers to being caught in the machinery; cover live electrical parts on equipment; and outline proper procedures to shut down equipment while performing maintenance. 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.
"When an employee is killed by a preventable workplace hazard, this is no accident. It means the employer failed to protect workers from dangers that can cause injury, illness or, in this case, another needless death," said Josh Flesher, acting area director for OSHA's Houston North Area Office.
OSHA has proposed fines totaling $44,800. Madden Bolt specializes in manufacturing bolts, custom steel plate products and assemblies, and employs about 130 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties 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 Houston North Area Office at 936-760-3800 or the Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583.
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.
Release Number: 15-169-DAL
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