The electrocution death of a 43-year-old welder could have been prevented if his employer had de-energized conductors and followed electrical safe work practices at its Missouri machine shop, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA officials investigated an incident at Homeyer Precision Manufacturing in Marthasville, MO, and cited the company for 11 serious and one other-than-serious safety violations. The company is facing a fine of $59,000.
“Employees working with electricity must be trained on shock, arc flash and electrocution hazards and how to protect themselves. This training must include locking out the electrical source and use of proper protective tools and personal equipment provided by the employer,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Homeyer has a responsibility to take all steps possible to prevent tragic injuries and deaths in the workplace.”
Investigators believe the welder was disassembling a live, 480-volt flexible cord when he received the electrical shock.
OSHA’s investigation found Homeyer failed to:
• Train employees on electrical safe work practices
• Isolate energy to machines and equipment
• Provide personal protective equipment, including hand protection
• Train and certify employees on procedures to prevent sudden machine start-up or unintentional operation, a process known as lockout/tagout
• Install adequate machine guarding to avoid contact with moving parts
• Provide insulated tools
• Anchor machinery
• Mark dies for mechanical presses