Metal Shredders Cited in Electrocution Death of Ohio Welder


Middletown, OH ( - 

Employer name: Cohen Brothers Inc., Middletown, Ohio; Metal Shredders Inc., Miamisburg, Ohio

Inspection site: Metal Shredders Inc., a subsidiary of Cohen Brothers, 5101 Farmersville-West Carrollton Road, Miamisburg, Ohio

Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Oct. 16, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Cincinnati Area Office initiated a fatality inspection after a 33-year-old maintenance worker was electrocuted. OSHA's investigation found Metal Shredders failed to protect the welder from an energized electrical line while he was cutting a metal roof off an industrial transformer substation at the facility.

Investigation findings: OSHA issued Metal Shredders one willful and 8 serious safety violations involving electrical safe work practices has proposed penalties of $115,000 to the company.

OSHA has also issued Cohen Brothers, Metal Shredders' parent company three serious safety violations for failing to train employees in electrical safe work practices, with proposed penalties of $21,000.

Investigators found Metal Shredders failed to verify that electrical lines were absent of voltage after turning off the disconnect switch inside the transformer substation cabinet, resulting in a willful violation. The 10-year employee attempted to enter the substation by climbing over a concrete wall and fence on the side of the transformer substation and his foot touched the electrical line, which was still energized, and was electrocuted.

"This was a tragic death that could have been prevented by following basic safety practices for working with high voltage transmission lines," said Ken Montgomery, OSHA Area Director in Cincinnati. "Employers who work with high voltage electricity must train workers in recognizing hazards and proper procedures to de-energize lines, and ensure the working environment is safe. No workers should lose their life on the job."

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