A weld failure last December caused a temporary support safety pin to disengage on an assembly line conveyor carriage at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, MO, causing the 7,600-pound carriage to fall on a worker.

The death of a 52-year-old contractor was avoidable, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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In its review, federal inspectors cited KCI Inc., which is rebuilding the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co. plant, with one willful safety violation under OSHA’s general duty clause.

OSHA determined KCI did not provide a workplace free of recognized hazards. OSHA has proposed penalties of $70,000 to the construction company, which employed the deceased worker. The agency also cited Ford for not inspecting the assembly line’s construction.

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“This worker’s death was preventable and a tragic loss for his family,” said Barb Theriot, OSHA’s area director in Kansas City. “KCI and Ford have a responsibility to inspect assembly lines and ensure that workers moving large parts are protected from crushing and struck-by hazards. Employers have an obligation and responsibility to protect their workers.”

OSHA cited the automaker for one serious violation for failing to perform inspections as part of Ford’s accident prevention program. Proposed penalties total $7,000.

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