Furniture upholstery manufacturer cited for nine safety violations following worker’s death

A 46-year-old maintenance worker was fatally electrocuted at H.M. Richards Inc.’s temporary facility in Guntown, Mississippi. After the incident, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) investigators discovered nine safety violations while investigating the furniture upholstery manufacturing facility, resulting in $55,100 in proposed penalties.

The citations include one repeat, seven serious and one other violations. The firm was previously cited for not marking circuit breakers to indicate what they control in the circuit-breaker box in 2011.

“Regrettably, a spouse and two children are left without a husband, father and the support he provided to make ends meet because H.M. Richards failed to train or qualify Mr. Reece in the duties he was assigned according to OSHA standards,” said Eugene Stewart, OSHA’s area director in Jackson, in a press release.

OSHA investigators believe that if the circuit-breaker box had been properly labeled, the incident which caused the loss of life could have been avoided, as he would have known the equipment he was working with was still live and contained enough electricity to kill him.

The serious violations included failing to ensure proper training for electrical work, exposing workers to amputations and struck-by hazards, improper lock-out/tag-out procedures and exposing employees to electrical shock and burns. The other violation cited was for damaged wiring on a fan.

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.