Federal workplace safety regulators are prepared to fine a North St. Louis County manufacturer $51,800 after a worker was electrocuted there in May. See: Florissant Man Found Dead On Top of Electrical Box
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said Sept. 3 that it has cited St. Louis Cold Drawn for 26 safety violations. Several of those violations relate directly to safe electrical practices.
Fifty-five year old Mach Nguyen, of Florissant was found unconscious and not breathing on top of an electrical box at the company on May 15. The St. Louis County Police Department ruled it an accident. Nguyen had reached into an energized electrical panel box to retrieve work gloves.
After the death, OSHA investigators found 19 serious safety violations at the company. See OSHA's stance on the matter here. Those include things like a lack of machine-specific lockout procedures, no annual inspection of the lockout program, missing lockout devices, multiple instances of locks not being placed on machines to prevent unintentional energization and lack of machine guarding.
OSHA said it defines a violation as serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
“Allowing workers to be exposed to live electricity without enforcing electrical safe work practices is inexcusable,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s St. Louis area director in a statement. “Employers, such as St. Louis Cold Drawn, have a responsibility to train workers in safe electrical work practices.”
OSHA also found seven lesser violations including failing to keep accurate injury and illness records, lockout/tagout training documentation was not available for all employees, and the employer failed to maintain a list of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.
St. Louis Cold Drawn manufactures steel bars. Its product is used to create things like alternator shafts, bearings, hand tools, steering linkages, transmission shafts, vehicle axles and wheel spindles.
The company employs close to 90 people at the facility. It also has a facility in Apodaca, Mexico. The company was cited for seven safety violations in 2002.
The steel manufacturer has 15 days to comply, request a conference with OSHA or seek an independent panel review.