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Firm Cited after Coating Worker Crushed

Friday, April 20, 2012

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The employer of a man who was crushed to death in a coating machine faces 10 federal health and safety violations—including a repeat violation—and a $51,300 fine in the case.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited American Biltrite Inc. for one repeat and nine serious violations for the death at its plant Nov. 5 in Moorestown, NJ. The worker was crushed while trying to clear a jam in a coating machine.

 OSHA cited the company for failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures on a coating machine before allowing the worker to clear a jam.


OSHA cited the company for failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures on a coating machine before allowing the worker to clear a jam.

The company, based in Wellesley Hills, MA, employs 130 workers at the plant, which manufactures commercial flooring and performance sheet rubber.

‘Disregarding Standards’

“This company continues to compromise the safety of its workers by disregarding OSHA’s safety and health standards,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s Marlton Area Office. “Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces and will be held legally accountable when they fail to do so.”

OSHA found that the company had failed to use lockout/tagout (energy control) procedures before allowing the worker to enter the machine’s danger area.

The serious violations include failure to:

• Provide a lockout/tagout program for the energy sources of equipment;

• Provide appropriate working space around electrical equipment;

• Provide an eyewash station;

• Ensure that equipment guards were in place to prevent workers from coming into contact with moving parts;

• Ensure the proper use of flexible cords;

• Take adequate precautions to prevent the ignition of flammable vapors; and

• Require employees to wear goggles when handling corrosive chemicals.

A serious violation reflects “substantial probability” or death or serious from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Repeat Violation

The repeat violation, which carries a penalty of $9,000, is for allowing Class I flammable liquids to be dispensed into containers without a nozzle and while the container is electrically connected, creating the risk of ignition.

The company was cited for the same violation in February 2010. OSHA issued a total of four serious violations in that case and fined the company $4,125. The case was later settled for $3,019.

A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited for the same or a similar violation within five years.

The plant was also cited in March 2006 for three serious and three other-than-serious violations. The original fine of $3,750 was settled for $2,811.50.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the citations.

The company did not respond Friday (April 20) to a request for comment.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Citations; Health and safety; High-performance coatings; OSHA; Violations

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