Stahl Specialty Co. penalized for fatal February incident

Democrat Staff

WARRENSBURG — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed $105,000 in penalties against a Warrensburg aluminum foundry in connection with the death of a maintenance worker in February.

According to a U.S. Department of Labor news release, an unidentified 57-year-old maintenance worker was killed Feb. 15 when he was crushed by a 4,000-pound machine part while performing maintenance inside of a sand core machine at Stahl Specialty Co.

An investigation by OSHA found the company did not use lockout devices and other machine safety procedures to prevent unintentional movement of the part while the worker was inside the machine, the release states. OSHA cited the company for one repeated and five serious safety violations July 29 after the agency completed its investigation.

“An employee who had been with the company 40 years lost his life because his employer failed to follow safety procedures to prevent machine parts from moving during maintenance,” said Todd Sieleman, OSHA’s acting area director in Kansas City. “Foundries have inherent dangers and employers like Stahl Specialty need to review their safety procedures to protect workers on the job.”

According to the release, while investigating the fatality OSHA found Stahl Specialty Co.:

• Failed to isolate all sources of energy in or to the equipment.

• Did not protect employees from unexpected machine movements during maintenance.

• Lacked machine-specific lockout procedures.

• Failed to adequately train workers on proper lockout procedures.

• Failed to coordinate lockout procedures with an outside contractor.

• Did not correct illegible markings on a crane pendant control box.

The Kingsville-based 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.

According to the Associated Press, the company was also cited in January for a serious violation after a worker suffered an amputation injury two months earlier.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public can call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Kansas City office at 816-502-0297.

Democrat Staff

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