U.S. Department of Labor Cites Dredging Manufacturer after Investigation into Worker’s Death

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Dredging Manufacturer after Investigation into Worker’s Death

OSHA investigation finds that safety procedures could have prevented the tragedy.

On January 27, 2021 a preventable death took place in Mobile, AL. A 22-year-old, who was new on the job, died from a crane bridge accident 30 feet in the air. He was caught in the crane trolley’s drive shaft. Federal inspectors say this tragedy could have been prevented. A part of the five-man team employed by SPI/Mobile Pulley Works Inc. to repair a 50-ton hoist, the Alabama resident was guiding a heavy steel cable to ensure workers were removed from the structure of the crane or out of its path when it was operating.

According to a press release, OSHA’s inspection led to 11 serious and two other-than-serious violations for the Mobile-based dredging manufacturer. Inspectors found the company failed to provide a workplace free from hazards and exposed employees to caught-in and crushed-by hazards that would most likely cause death or serious harm. The press release states, OSHA identified the following violations:

  • Allowed employees to work near unguarded equipment, which exposed them to struck-by and caught-in hazards
  • Failed to conduct periodic inspections of the crane
  • Exposed workers to respiratory hazards by requiring employees to wear half-mask negative pressure respirators without proper fit tests and did not provide training on respirator use to minimize the number of employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica
  • Failed to provide proper training on fall protection systems, exposing workers to fall hazards
  • Failed to inspect alloy steel chain slings used for rigging

OSHA proposed $89,141 in penalties.

“Heavy industrial work can be hazardous and employers must follow workplace safety standards to avoid serious injuries and, in this case, tragedy,” said OSHA Area Director Jose A. Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama. “The terrible loss for this young man’s family and friends is deepened by the knowledge that this incident could have been prevented.”

Learn more about crane, derrick and hoist safety, fall and respiratory protection.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue