Worker Fatally Crushed in Equipment, Manufacturer Fined $210,000

The violations are failing to develop energy control procedures, provide machine guarding, and effectively train employees on recognizing hazardous energy and taking safety precautions.

OSHA has issued Adams Thermal Systems Inc. of Canton, S.D., three citations for willful safety violations that expose workers to unsafe conditions at the engine cooling systems manufacturing facility. OSHA's inspection was initiated after an employee was fatally crushed while operating equipment on Nov. 7, 2011. Proposed penalties for the most recent citations total $210,000.

"Despite having full awareness of the hazardous conditions and potential for employees to be injured by machinery used in the workplace, the employer failed to take suitable action to ensure employee safety," said Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area director in Bismarck, N.D. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

The violations are failing to develop energy control procedures, provide machine guarding, and effectively train employees on recognizing hazardous energy and taking safety precautions.

Due to the willful nature of the violations, OSHA has placed Adams Thermal Systems in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.

The facility previously had been inspected four times by OSHA. In 2004, an employee lost four fingers in a machine guarding-related incident and OSHA cited the employer with a willful violation for failing to provide adequate guarding. In 2011, an investigation was initiated after an employee had several fingers crushed while operating a press, and OSHA cited a serious violation for failing to provide adequate protection.

Adams Thermal Systems employs about 720 workers.

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