Aluminum plant fined for avoidable worker death

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators cited BRT Extrusions, a Niles, Ohio-based, aluminum parts manufacturer for six serious safety violations following the death of a worker at the plant in August, 2014. An extrusion press that wasn’t properly shut off or locked out killed the employee while he was reaching into it to remove unprocessed aluminum. OSHA representatives stated that the incident could have been avoided by following proper safety procedures.

“This death was preventable, BRT Extrusion should have properly trained their workers on lockout/tagout and ensured the extrusion press had adequate guarding,” said Brigitte Frank, OSHA’s acting area director in Cleveland, in a release. “Failure to protect employees from dangerous machinery all too often leads to catastrophic injury or death. These violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA.”

The company was fined $28,000 for the six violations, which include a lack of machine guarding in addition to failure to take proper lock out/tag out precautions on machinery intended for maintenance.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, a supervisor put the machine into “automatic” mode while the workers were on lunch break, and when the employee returned to work and reached into the machine to remove the parts, it began a new cycle and crushed him.

Keeping the workplace safe through practicing sound behavior-based safety measures should be any organization’s paramount priority. This is why proper training programs and safety reporting are a key part of business operations within any industry. If you’re interested in learning how IndustrySafe’s safety inspection software and OSHA reporting solutions can help businesses meet this standard, contact us today or visit our website.