Worker Fatally Struck by Machine; Houston Firm Fined $79,400

OSHA's Houston South Area Office began its investigation on Sept. 14, 2010, at the company's South Freeway facility, where an employee died after a pallet-pulling machine came loose and struck him on the head.

OSHA has cited Seaboard International Inc. with 24 serious and two other-than-serious safety violations following the death of a worker at the company's Houston facility.

OSHA's Houston South Area Office began its investigation on Sept. 14, 2010, at the company's South Freeway facility, where an employee died after a pallet-pulling machine came loose and struck him on the head.

"It is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Mark Briggs, director for OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "If OSHA's standards for health and safety had been followed, it is possible this tragedy could have been avoided."

Serious violations include failing to implement OSHA's standards for the control of hazardous energy, provide a hazard communication program, ensure jib cranes were adequately inspected and properly loaded, provide the required machine guarding, and ensure a pallet-pulling machine and chain used in material handling were maintained and inspected.

Other-than-serious violations include failing to certify the annual summary of injuries and illness.

Seaboard International, a Houston-based oilfield equipment company that employs about 75 workers at its Houston facility, has additional manufacturing, sales and service locations elsewhere in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Proposed penalties for these citations total $79,400.

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