Davis Tool & Die cited after worker electrocuted at Fenton, Mo., facility;
US Labor Department's OSHA finds 17 violations during fatality investigation
FENTON, Mo. — Davis Tool & Die has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 17 safety violations after a maintenance worker was electrocuted March 6 at the Fenton tool and die facility.
"Allowing maintenance workers to service energized equipment without taking required safety precautions and providing necessary personal protective equipment is inexcusable. In this incident, such disregard had fatal consequences," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "Davis Tool & Die has a responsibility to protect workers from known hazards at its manufacturing facility. No worker should risk his life for a job."
A repeat safety violation involves failing to have point of operation guards on three CNC milling machines. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violation was cited in January 2012 at Poplar Bluff Tool & Die, under the same ownership.
Nine serious safety violations relate directly to the electrocution, which occurred when the maintenance worker came in contact with exposed energized parts while examining malfunctioning electrical heating components on the heat treat oven. Violations include failing to evaluate the need for personal protective equipment and insulated tools and provide them as necessary; modifying the oven wiring of heating elements from the manufacturer's design; lack of safety-related work practices and worker training in those concepts; failing to de-energize parts and verify de-energization prior to maintenance; failing to ensure worker qualifications for performed duties; and allowing conductive articles of jewelry or clothing to be worn near electrical components.
Seven additional safety violations involve lack of machine guarding and an emergency eyewashing station for workers exposed to corrosive materials, as well as procedures to control the use of hazardous energy. The company also failed to install electrical equipment properly, periodically test electrical protective equipment and evaluate forklift truck drivers at least once every three years. 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 fines total $77,000. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and notice of proposed penalties to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If the company does not file or contest within that period, it must abate the cited conditions within the period ordered in the citations and pay the proposed penalties.
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 St. Louis Area Office at 314-425-4249.
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 exist 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 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.