Galvanizer Fined in 2nd Fatality


A second worker death in less than a year has drawn 10 serious citations and a fine for a Texas steel galvanizer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration called the fatal August 2014 accident at Madden Bolt Corp. "another needless death." Fines totaled $44,800.

The 31-year-old worker was killed at the Houston plant when a cutting-table explosion hurled him and a steel plate into the air. The plate then landed on the fallen worker, whose identity was not released, OSHA investigators said.

Prior Fatality

In September 2013, another employee was killed at Madden Galvanizing, a sister company at the same address.

Marco Aurelio Rodriguez, 33, was driving a forklift that hit a drainage ditch and fell over, ejecting Rodriguez and then landing on top of him, authorities said.

That case, which remains open, resulted in citations for three serious violations and fines totaling $18,900.

The company did not respond Monday (Feb. 9) to a request for comment.

Hot Work, Explosive Atmosphere

In the most recent death, inspectors found a variety of serious hazards (cited here and here), including alleged failure to:

  • Prohibit cutting and welding in explosive atmospheres;
  • Ensure that the air and gas concentration in the cutting table did not accumulate to create an explosion;
  • Provide working, inspected and charged fire extinguishers around combustible and flammable products;
  • Protect fuel cylinders from damage;
  • Place safety guards on band saws and a pipe press that exposed workers to being caught in the machinery;
  • Cover live electrical parts on equipment; and
  • Outline proper procedures to shut down equipment while performing maintenance.
MaddenGalvanizing DavidMadden (left); LinkedIn (right)

The third-generation company, whose services include galvanizing (left), is headed by Dave Madden (right).

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

'This is No Accident'

"When an employee is killed by a preventable workplace hazard, this is no accident," said Josh Flesher, acting area director for OSHA's Houston North Area Office.

"It means the employer failed to protect workers from dangers that can cause injury, illness or, in this case, another needless death,"


Madden Galvanizing has been tentatively fined $18,900 in the September 2013 fatality. Madden Bolt, the sister company, was fined $44,800 in the August 2014 fatality.

According to OSHA records, Madden Bolt received 15 serious citations and $20,250 in fines for a variety of hazards in 2005. The case was reduced after an informal settlement to nine serious and two other-than-serious violations and a $9,300 fine. The following year, the company was cited for one minor violation.

Madden Bolt has 15 business days to contest the citations.

Founded in 1942, Madden serves the industrial, commercial, transportation, gas pipeline, waste water, communication tower and other industrieswith custom steel products and galvanizing services. The family-owned company is in its third generation, currently headed by David Madden.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Fatalities; Galvanized steel; Galvanized/thermal spray coatings; Health & Safety; North America; OSHA

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