Miamisburg, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - A 48-year-old supervisor was fatally injured when he was struck by a metal door while performing maintenance at Certified Heat Treating Inc. in Miamisburg. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company for 10 serious violations, many involving OSHA's confined space and lockout/tagout standards for the control of machinery and moving parts.
"If Certified Heat Treating had followed established safety procedures, this tragedy might have been prevented," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "No worker should lose their life because an employer decided to cut corners on safety."
On March 31, 2014, the supervisor, who had been employed at the facility for 25 years, had tightened a nut on an elevator cylinder inside an oil-filled quench tank chamber when the outer metal door came down. The door struck his chest and made it impossible for him to breathe. OSHA's investigation found that the company failed to isolate an energy source on the outer metal door, implement lockout/tagout procedures and install an adequate restraining device to prevent the door from operating during service and maintenance. Additionally, workers were inadequately trained on specific procedures to prevent such incidents, and periodic inspections of equipment were not conducted.
Certified Heat Treating allowed employees to enter quench tank chambers to perform repair and maintenance without implementing procedures required under OSHA's permit-required confined space regulations. It failed to have entry permits, post an attendant outside during entry and train workers in hazards, which resulted in serious violations. A confined space is one large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs, has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy, such as a tank chamber.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exits.
The company faces proposed penalties of $64,000.
Certified Heat Treating performs vacuum and induction heat treating of metal parts for use in the construction, automotive and transportation industries. The company also has a facility in Springfield.
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 & Health Review Commission.
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