September 6, 2016
CEDARBURG, Wis. – As he hand-polished a 40-inch long metal cylinder, a 36-year-old lathe operator became entangled in the machine’s operating spindle and suffered injuries that led to his death two days later.
An investigation into the incident by federal inspectors found his employer, Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp. allowed the computer numerical controlled lathe to operate with its safety interlocks bypassed. The interlocks prevent workers from coming in contact with moving machine parts.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for one willful, and one serious violation of machine safety standards, as a result of the worker’s death on March 17, 2016. Carlson had employed the man for two years.
“All too often, OSHA finds employers are complacent with machine safety features and bypass them to speed production,” said Christine Zortman, area director of OSHA’s Milwaukee office. “This worker’s tragic death was preventable. Carlson Tool & Manufacturing must re-evaluate its overall safety and health management system, including their machine safety programs and procedures to ensure they are effective.”
OSHA’s inspection found the lathe’s door that provided guarding, was open exposing the worker to the machines rotating parts. Unrelated to the incident, agency inspectors found that the company also failed to follow proper procedures to fully power down equipment to prevent sudden movement or starts.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $124,709. View the citations received by the company on Aug. 31, 2016, here.
Based in Cedarburg, Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp. 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 Milwaukee Area Office at (414) 297-3315.
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.