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Railcar Maker Cited in Electrocution

Friday, January 20, 2012

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Federal safety authorities have leveled 10 serious citations and $61,400 in fines against an Arkansas railcar repair and painting facility where an employee was electrocuted in July.

Joshua Buchanan, 28, of Brookland, AR, was electrocuted July 25 while performing repairs on a tanker-style railcar at American Railcar Industries’ facility in Marmaduke, AR. American Railcar employs about 260 workers at that facility and about 1,500 workers nationwide.

 American Railcar Industries

 American Railcar Industries

American Railcar Industries performs railcar repair, painting, lining and modification services at its facility in Marmaduke, AR.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

“Exposing workers to electrocution hazards without proper safeguards and training is inexcusable,” said OSHA Area Director Carlos Reynolds. “It is the employer's responsibility to create a safe and healthful workplace where preventable hazards don't cost workers their lives.”

Inspection and Violations

In inspecting the facility after Buchanan’s death, OSHA found that workers were being exposed to electrical shocks from welding equipment. The violations, all classified as serious, include failure to:

• Provide personal protection for employees conducting cutting and welding operations;

• Properly mark the power supply and control boxes for voltage, current and wattage;

• Use fixed wiring, instead of flexible cords, and protect the wiring from possible damage;

• Remove defective electrical equipment from service; and

• Inspect and mark web slings.

Serious violations reflect “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Proposed penalties total $61,400. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Health and safety; OSHA; Painters; Railcars

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