Worker Falls to Death Four Months after Employer Cited for Failing to Protect Workers

The worker fell at a job site where OSHA previously cited violations. Material Handling Systems/MHS Technical Services faces total proposed penalties of $320,400.

OSHA has cited Material Handling Systems/MHS Technical Services for three egregious willful violations for exposing workers in Addison, Ill., to falls over 6 feet, after an employee fell 22 feet to his death at a site where violations were cited by OSHA four months prior.

"A man is dead because this employer decided to break the law over and over again. Before this tragedy, OSHA cited this contractor twice for exposing workers to fall hazards, including at the same site just four months earlier," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor of Occupational Safety and Health. "OSHA is asking companies contracting with Material Handling Systems to take strong steps to ensure that this employer protects its employees, and terminate its contracts if this employer continues to violate OSHA regulations. Material Handling Systems employer must demonstrate it can work safely and stop injuring its employees."

OSHA also cited the company for exposing workers to falls as they hoisted conveyor equipment while working on raised surfaces and for allowing workers to use a combustible polyethylene tarp as a welding curtain, which resulted in three repeated and three serious safety violations.

Material Handling Systems/MHS Technical Services removes and installs high-speed conveyor systems. In this case, the company was working under contract with United Parcel Service to dismantle existing conveyor systems and install new, high-speed conveyors at a UPS Addison facility. Based in Louisville, Ky., Material Handling Systems/MHS Technical Services faces total proposed penalties of $320,400.

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