OSHA Says Safety Guards Would Have Stopped Steel Roller from Crushing Worker

D.R. Diedrich & Co. Ltd. was cited 19 safety violations for the incident.

An OSHA inspection has determined that proper safety guards would have stopped a 1,500-pound steel roller from crushing and killing a worker, but his employer did not use them.

Due to the incident, D.R. Diedrich & Co. Ltd. has been cited for one willful and 18 serious safety violations. The Milwaukee leather manufacturer failed to use devices that would have stopped the roller on a tanning machine from moving during service and maintenance. The incident occurred when the worker was inspecting the machine's bearing.

"Too often, we cite companies that ignore machine hazards in the hope that a tragic death like this one can be avoided," said Christine Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Machine hazards are among the most frequently cited by OSHA. Manufacturer-installed guards and industry-standard locking devices protect workers from operating machinery. Yet each year, thousands of workers are injured or killed because employers ignore machine hazards and do not train workers on safety procedures."

Some of the serious safety violations included: lack of machine guards, not training workers on machine safety procedures or evaluating procedures annually, failing to install standard railings to guard against falls of up to five feet from platforms and floor openings, and modifying forklifts without manufacturer permission.

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