Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

OSHA Cites DCS Sanitation Management Inc. Following Electrocution Death

The following is a press release from OSHA dated April 14, 2008.

OSHA cites DCS Sanitation Management Inc. for multiple safety and health violations following an electrocution death.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited DCS Sanitation Management Inc. for 10 alleged violations of federal safety and health standards following the Oct. 12, 2007, death of an employee at a Springfield, Mo., poultry processing facility.

An employee of Cincinnati, Ohio-based DCS Sanitation Management, working to sanitize poultry processing equipment, was electrocuted when the equipment's conductive surface became energized.

"Our inspection revealed multiple violations of OSHA's electrical standards," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City. "It is imperative that employers remain committed to keeping the workplace safe at all times."

An alleged willful violation addresses hazards associated with the company's failure to ensure employees are removed from equipment hazard areas, all tools are removed, and equipment is operationally intact prior to its release from lockout/tagout safeguards and employee use. Lockout/tagout refers to preventing accidental start-up of machinery during maintenance. Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

An alleged repeat violation addresses a hazard associated with the lack of suitable facilities for quick drenching and/or flushing of the eyes and body in the event of an emergency when employees were working with injurious corrosives. Repeat violations are issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same, or a substantially similar, violation that has become a final order.

Alleged serious violations address the following hazards: failure to ensure electrical equipment was free from recognized hazards; failure to ensure the means of grounding machines and equipment was continuous and effective; enclosures for electrical components in wet environments that were not waterproof; failure to provide all flexible cords with a strain relief; failure to provide a standard guardrail system for every floor opening or platform above dangerous equipment; failure to provide and/or require the use of appropriate eye and face protective equipment; and allowing the consumption of food and beverages in areas exposed to toxic chemicals.

An other-than-serious violation addresses the employer's failure to report the fatal accident to the nearest OSHA area office within the required eight hours of occurrence. The agency's proposed penalties for all violations total $124,500.

DCS Sanitation Management Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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