Grinder Operator Fatally Struck by Abrasive Wheel, Firm Fined $159,600

OSHA cited the company for 15 safety violations following an inspection resulting from the January death of a pedestal grinder operator who was killed when the abrasive wheel on the grinder exploded and struck the operator on the head.

OSHA has cited Advantage Powder Coating in Defiance, Ohio, for 15 safety violations following an inspection resulting from the January death of a pedestal grinder operator who was killed when the abrasive wheel on the grinder exploded and struck the operator on the head. Proposed penalties total $159,600.

"Employers have a responsibility to protect the safety of their workers, and that includes having proper machine guards installed and following appropriate safety procedures to prevent tragedies like this one," said Michael Connors, OSHA's regional director in Chicago. "No worker should ever risk injury or death to earn a paycheck."

Two willful violations were cited for a lack of properly adjusted safety guards and work rests on pedestal grinders.

Eleven serious citations include failing to have underhung cranes marked with rated load capacity, mark hook-lifting devices with rated capacity, provide identifying information for slings, and provide machine guarding on abrasive wheel machinery.

Two other-than-serious record-keeping violations include failing to record work-related injuries that occurred in 2008 and 2009.

OSHA has placed Advantage Powder Coating in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The company was placed in the program for receiving two willful violations of hazards covered under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations.

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