August 2, 2016
MARTHASVILLE, Mo. – Federal investigators found the electrocution death of a 43-year-old welder could have been prevented if his employer had de-energized conductors and followed electrical safe work practices at its Missouri machine shop.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the May 4, 2016, incident at Homeyer Precision Manufacturing and cited the company for 11 serious and one other-than-serious safety violations on July 29, 2016.
“Employees working with electricity must be trained on shock, arc flash and electrocution hazards and how to protect themselves. This training must include locking out the electrical source and use of proper protective tools and personal equipment provided by the employer,” Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Homeyer has a responsibility to take all steps possible to prevent tragic injuries and deaths in the workplace.”
Investigators believe the welder was disassembling a live, 480-volt flexible cord when he received the electrical shock.
OSHA’s investigation found Homeyer failed to:
Train employees on electrical safe work practices.
Isolate energy to machines and equipment.
Provide personal protective equipment, including hand protection.
Train and certify employees on procedures to prevent sudden machine start-up or unintentional operation, a process known as lockout/tagout.
Install adequate machine guarding to avoid contact with moving parts.
Provide insulated tools.
Mark dies for mechanical presses.
OSHA has proposed fines of $59,000. View current citations here.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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 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 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.