OSHA cites Wisconsin factory for safety failures after teen worker dies from injuries

Published: Dec. 27, 2016 at 2:28 PM CST
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COLUMBUS, Wis. (WMTV)----A federal investigation that was prompted by the death of a 17-year-old worker at a Columbus business has resulted in multiple safety and health violations.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued 16 serious and one other-than-serious safety and health violations to G.D. Roberts & Co.

The teen was working at the factory on June 27, 2016 when he was pinned in a machine while cleaning scrap from underneath a laser cutter in operation. He later died of his injuries on July 2, 2016. The teen had only been working there two weeks when the incident happened.

OSHA found the company failed to ensure procedures to lockout the machine to prevent unintentional movement were followed. They said the company didn’t train its employees properly in such safety procedures.

“A young man suffered a tragic death shortly after starting a new job, leaving his family to grieve their overwhelming loss,” said Ann Grevenkamp, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “Proper lockout devices along with training could have prevented this tragedy.”

G.D. Roberts says it continuously improves its workplace safety, and is cooperating with OSHA.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $119,725 to the company.

Copyright 2016: WMTV

OSHA also found G.D. Roberts failed to:

         Conduct periodic inspections of machine safety procedures.

         Affix lockout devices to isolate energy prior to allow employees to enter machine hazard areas.

         Conduct noise monitoring.

         Provide employee’s audiograms.

         Train workers about noise hazards.

         Follow respiratory protection standards such as fit-testing, training and medical evaluations for employees.

         Evaluate for airborne hazards.

         Implement engineering controls for dust and other airborne hazard exposure resulting in employee overexposure.

         Maintain chemical inventories.

         Train workers in forklift operation.

         Seek manufacturer approval prior to modifying forklifts.

         Train employees about chemicals in use in the workplace and maintain a chemical inventory.


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