OSHA cites Louisiana manufacturer following fatality

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

A Sarepta, La., company's alleged failure to protect workers from crushing hazards that contributed to a worker's death has resulted in proposed penalties totaling $67,500 from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Continental Structural Plastics Louisiana LLC was cited for alleged violations following a fatality investigation that began June 30 at the company's Sarepta facility. Continental Structural, which manufactures structural plastic components for automobile and non-automotive industries, employs approximately 240 employees at its facility.

"The company's failure to follow the hydraulic press manufacturer's standard operating procedures contributed to the worker's death," said Greg Honaker, area director of OSHA's Baton Rouge area office. "Complying with OSHA's standard for machine guarding could have prevented this fatality."

The company was cited for one alleged willful and one alleged serious violation of OSHA standards. The alleged willful violation was issued for failing to protect employees from being crushed while operating a hydraulic power press. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The alleged serious violation was issued for failing to anchor the palm button control station, responsible for operating the hydraulic power press, to the floor to prevent the unintended tripping or cycling of the press. A serious violation is one that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge area director or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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