OSHA Finds Management Ignores Hazards after Worker Falls into Acid-filled Tank

The accident occurred at an auto parts manufacturer in Pell City, Alabama

A man working at WKW Erbsloeh North America Inc.’s Alabama facility suffered severe burns to his face and internal organs when he fell backwards and was submerged into a tank filled with corrosive phosphoric and sulfuric acid. An OSHA investigation found safety violations that placed employees in serious peril and led to the worker’s injuries.

WKW was issued a willful citation for exposing workers to falls from walkways without railings. OSHA requires walkways, platforms or runways above or next to dangerous equipment, including chemical tanks, to have railing and toeboards installed.

"Allowing a worker to be injured by a hazard that was known by all is terrible. This worker was doing the right thing, but management was not," said Ramona Morris, director of OSHA's Birmingham Area Office. "Employers have the responsibility to protect employees from injuries and illnesses."

The five serious citations were issued for failing to provide workers with equipment to prevent accidental machine startup; not ensuring workers followed procedures to prevent accidental machine startup; failing to monitor air quality inside chemical tanks that workers entered; not training workers on the hazards of confined spaces; and no periodic inspections of worker procedures to prevent accidental machine startup.

Download Center

  • Hand Safety Program

    Hand injuries are the #1 preventable industrial accident worldwide. In REThinking Hand Safety, the most comprehensive book on hand safety, you'll learn how top companies have reduced hand injuries by up to 90% and what the most successful hand safety programs have in common. Get your free copy today!

  • Free 1-on-1 Consultations

    Is your company ready to reduce hand injuries? Schedule a free meeting with a Superior Glove hand safety expert and learn how to reduce hand injuries, lower PPE costs, and increase worker productivity. Our 1-on-1 consultations offer personalized advice and recommendations for your specific needs and concerns.

  • Glove 101 Guide

    Choosing the right safety gloves for your workers can be a daunting task. That’s where some basic knowledge of gloves can really come in handy! In this comprehensive guide you’ll find key information you need to know about safety gloves from types of gloves and materials to additives, treatments, safety standards, and more.

  • Sample Program

    Find the right safety gloves for your team and try before you buy—in just 3 easy steps! Simply add the products you want to try to your sample box, complete the sample request form, and wait for your samples to arrive at no cost to you.

  • Water Protection Product Guide

    Find the right safety gloves for your workers that are designed to protect in wet environments. From light and flexible to heavy duty, find the best water-resistant gloves with mechanical protection to safeguard workers.

  • Superior Glove

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue