The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Ridewell Corp. of Springfield, Missouri, for safety violations following the death of a 62-year-old parts assembler who died after he was struck by a 4-pound metal spacer that flew off a 4-ton hydraulic press.

An investigation of the vehicle suspension systems manufacturer found the worker received multiple broken bones and internal injuries in the January incident. He had been employed at the company for 31 years. Inspectors determined that the machine he was working on lacked required safety mechanisms.

"This tragic loss could have been prevented," said Barbara Theriot, OSHA's area director in Kansas City. "Ridewell workers are at risk for life-threatening hazards every time machinery is operated because this company chooses not to keep them safe."

OSHA cited Ridewell for one willful and one additional safety violation. The willful violation was assessed for failing to protect workers from operating parts of machinery. The company also failed to provide the requested First Report of Injury document within the required 4-hour timeline, resulting in one other-than-serious violation. OSHA has proposed penalties of $71,000.

Ridewell has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Kansas City or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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