Ridewell Corp. is facing $71,000 in fines for a willful violation when an employee suffered a fatal injury when a metal spacer struck him at the company’s Springfield, MO, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA said the machine the 62-year-old man was working in the January incident on did not have required safety mechanisms. The man suffered the fatal injury after a 4-pound metal spacer flew off a 4-ton hydraulic press and hit him, OSHA said.

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“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 cites the company 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 four-hour timeline, resulting in one other-than-serious violation.

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Ridewell officials disputed the citation and said OSHA had inspected the machinery involved in the death several times without issuing citations. The company said it has been actively involved with OSHA safety programs for years.

Ridewell builds suspension products for trucks, trailers, buses and recreational vehicles.

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