OSHA Fines Company $697K in Machine Guarding Fatality

OSHA announced Feb. 13 that it has cited Wire Mesh Sales, LLC of Jacksonville, Fla., and proposed $697,700 in penalties in connection with the August 2013 death of a 32-year-old machine helper.

OSHA announced Feb. 13 that it has cited Wire Mesh Sales, LLC of Jacksonville, Fla., and proposed $697,700 in penalties in connection with the August 2013 death of a 32-year-old machine helper. The employee had entered a large wire mesh manufacturing machine to retrieve a fallen metal bar and was struck and killed by a part that feeds wire into the machine's welding area, according to OSHA's news release, which states that a light curtain that would have automatically turned the machine off before he entered had been disabled.

OSHA's citation includes eight per-instance willful violations, 22 serious violations, one repeat violation, and four other-than-serious safety and health violations against the company, and the agency has placed it into the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, meaning it will be subject to more inspections.

"This was a preventable and senseless tragedy. When employers are serious about safety, everyone benefits. Wire Mesh Sales LLC failed to properly implement OSHA safety regulations, and a worker paid the ultimate price," U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said.

The per-instance willful citations, with $560,000 in fines associated with them, include allegedly failing to guard the wire mesh manufacturing machine and three other large machines that make wire mesh or straighten and test the wire. The company also allegedly failed to ensure four machines, including the one involved in the incident, were shut down and hazardous sources of energy were locked or tagged out before workers entered to service them.

Fines for the serious violations total $126,700.

Visit this page to read all of the citations in this case.

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