Employer Cited in Untrained Worker's Electrocution

H.M. Richards Inc. failed to protect the employee from an electrical hazard, according to OSHA.

A maintenance worker for H.M. Richards Inc. was fatally electrocuted on Oct. 1, 2014, as he disconnected wiring on a saw at a facility in Guntown, Miss., according to OSHA. OSHA has charged the furniture upholstery manufacturer for nine violations of safety standards, including failure to provide electrical safety training.

"Regrettably, a spouse and two children are left without a husband, father, and the support he provided to make ends meet because H.M. Richards failed to train or qualify Mr. Reece in the duties he was assigned according to OSHA standards," said Eugene Stewart, OSHA's area director in Jackson.

The organization also issued a citation for not marking circuit breakers to indicate what they control in the circuit-breaker box. Inspectors found seven serious violations in total, including: failing to ensure that employees were trained and qualified to perform electrical work, exposing workers to amputations and struck-by hazards by operating dangerous machines without protection, not ensuring the electrical disconnect switch could not be turned back on before performing work, and exposing employees to electrical shock and burns due to unmarked ground conductors.

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