Eaton Corp. Cited for Employee’s Heat-Related Kidney Failure

The accident occurred at the Kearney, Nebraska, automotive manufacturing plant

According to a news release from OSHA, a dehydrated 53-year-old Eaton Corp. employee suffered acute kidney failure while working in extreme indoor heat at the company’s automotive manufacturing plant. The employee operated industrial machinery at the Kearney, Nebraska, plant on July 11, 2014, when the heat index reached 101 degrees. The worker, who had worked at the facility for 20 years, later recovered after being hospitalized for more than 24 hours to treat the illness.

An inspection by OSHA found that the company failed to protect workers from exposure to excessive heat, which resulted in one serious health violation.

“Heat illness can happen indoors year-round. Employers must accustom workers in industrial environments to their facility,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “This worker and thousands each year experience heat-related illnesses that can be prevented with common sense safety measures.”

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