Worker's Death at Recycling Facility Results in $183,300 Penalty

OSHA opened an inspection after a worker was found dead inside the rotating drum assembly of a machine used to screen recyclables from other refuse on March 30.

OSHA has cited Marietta Industrial Enterprises Inc., which operates Refuse Recycling in Marietta, Ohio, for 21 safety, including two willful, violations. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker was found dead inside the rotating drum assembly of a machine used to screen recyclables from other refuse on March 30. Proposed penalties total $186,300.

"Marietta Industrial Enterprises showed an intentional disregard for employee safety by failing to provide lockout/tagout training to workers performing maintenance inside rotating drums, which could easily be restarted if their energy sources were not properly cut off," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "No one should ever lose his or her life because safety procedures were not followed. It is the employer's responsibility to train workers and ensure that the workplace is free from unnecessary hazards."

Two willful violations involve failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from becoming unexpectedly energized and to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures.

Additionally, 14 serious violations involve failing to provide machine guarding, provide adequate guardrails, mark and illuminate emergency and exit signs, evaluate the workplace to determine if there were any confined spaces that would require permits, examine powered industrial trucks prior to each shift, ensure that employees used electrical protective equipment, provide electrically insulated tools, develop an exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, offer hepatitis B vaccines, and label biohazard containers.

Finally, five other-than-serious violations involve using work areas for storage and failing to record work-related injuries, maintain clean conditions, provide a written respiratory protection program, and provide employees with information for voluntary respirator use.

As a result of the investigation, Marietta Industrial Enterprises has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

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