The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has accused an Ohio powder coating company of 15 safety violations following the death of a grinder operator who was killed when the abrasive wheel on his grinder exploded and struck him on the head.
Advantage Powder Coating, of Defiance, OH, faces total proposed penalties of $159,600 for the violations cited in a Jan. 24 inspection after the death of Alex Paton Bevins, 21, of Defiance.
|Alex Bevins, 21, was killed Jan. 24.|
The company was also placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on what OSHA calls “recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.” Advantage Powder Coating was placed in the program for receiving two willful violations of hazards covered under the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations.
"Employers have a responsibility to protect the safety of their workers, and that includes having proper machine guards installed and following appropriate safety procedures to prevent tragedies like this one," said Michael Connors, OSHA’s regional director in Chicago. "No worker should ever risk injury or death to earn a paycheck."
Two willful violations were cited for lack of properly adjusted safety guards and work rests on pedestal grinders. A willful violation is one committed with “intentional knowing or voluntary disregard” for the law or with “plain indifference to worker safety and health.”
Eleven serious citations included alleged failure to:
• Have underhung cranes marked with rated load capacity;
• Mark hook-lifting devices with rated capacity;
• Provide identifying information for slings; and
• Provide machine guarding on abrasive wheel machinery.
A serious violation reflects a “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Two other-than-serious record-keeping violations allege failure to record work-related injuries that occurred in 2008 and 2009.
The company did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.
Advantage Powder Coating has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the case before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.