OSHA Strikes Bowling Center with $112,600 Fine After Worker Dies in Pinsetter Machine

OSHA's Dallas Area Office initiated an inspection Feb 21, after receiving a report that a worker was fatally injured from being caught in a pinsetter machine while clearing a jam.

OSHA has cited AMF Bowling Centers Inc. for three serious and three repeat violations following the death of a worker at the company's in Addison, Texas. OSHA's Dallas Area Office initiated an inspection Feb 21, after receiving a report that a worker was fatally injured from being caught in a pinsetter machine while clearing a jam.

"This company failed to install the required machine guarding on the pinsetter machine," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "If OSHA's standards had been followed, it is possible that this tragedy could have been avoided."

The serious violations involve failing to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures, ensure fixed stairs were provided for access from one structural level to another, and ensure employees were protected from falling into the pinsetter machines by providing a guardrail system around the machines or a personal fall arrest system.

The repeat violations involve failing to provide machine guarding, provide guards for pulleys that were 7 feet or less from the floor, and ensure that flexible cords were connected to devices and fittings so tension would not be transmitted to the joints or terminal screws. OSHA cited the company in January 2007 and June 2008 for similar violations. Proposed penalties total $112,600.

OSHA's machine guarding standard was the 10th most frequently cited standard in 2010. Information about machine guarding can be found at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/machineguarding/index.html.

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