Texas conveyor manufacturer cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
following worker fatality
KWS Manufacturing Co. Ltd. cited for 17 violations for a variety of safety hazards
BURLESON, Texas – KWS Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 17 safety and health violations after a worker was killed at the Burleson-based company in December 2013. OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office found that workers were exposed to caught-in hazards and amputation hazards from unguarded machinery, and struck-by hazards associated with the rigging and moving of heavy metals from the manufacturing of conveyor's.
The worker died when his left arm was caught in the unguarded rotating parts of a machine he operated. Subsequently, he became entangled and was flipped several times before the machine was turned off. An employee working nearby was not able to turn off the machinery in time because it was unequipped with an emergency stop device.
"The employer's disregard for OSHA's machine guarding standards ultimately led to this employee's death," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. "It is unacceptable that KWS failed to evaluate working conditions and provide guarding on its machines. This type of negligence will not be tolerated."
The 14 serious safety violations include failure to provide required machine guarding, including a reamer machine that was involved in the fatality; failure to inspect overhead cranes, hoists, hooks and slings regularly; failure to rate job fabricated lifting devices; failure to guard belts and pulley's; and failure to provide training to overhead crane and forklift operators.
The 3 serious health violations include failure to provide a hearing conservation program; failure to provide an administrator for the respiratory program; and failure to implement a hazard communication program. 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.
Proposed penalties total $77,000. KWS Manufacturing, which employs about 130 workers and manufactures screw conveyor systems, 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 & 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 Fort Worth Area Office at 817-581-7303.
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 department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).