The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a total of six citations to Stahl Specialty Company following an investigation into a fatal accident at its aluminum foundry in Warrensburg, MO. On February 15, 2016, a 57-year-old worker was crushed by a 4,000-lb. machine part as he performed maintenance inside of a core machine there, and later died from his injuries.
Stahl Specialty Co. is a permanent mold foundry with plants in Kingsville and Warrensburg, MO., producing more than 35 million lb./year of aluminum castings for automotive, commercial vehicle, and diesel engine manufacturers.
Following an investigation, OSHA cited Stahl Specialty Co. for one repeated and five serious safety violations on July 29. The U.S. Dept. of Labor agency found that lockout devices and other machine safety procedures failed to prevent unintentional movement of the machine’s ram while the worker was inside the machine.
The penalties proposed by the agency total $105,000.
"An employee who had been with the company 40 years lost his life because his employer failed to follow safety procedures to prevent machine parts from moving during maintenance," sated OSHA’s Kansas City area acting director, Todd Sieleman. "Foundries have inherent dangers and employers like Stahl Specialty need to review their safety procedures to protect workers on the job."
OSHA terminology identifies “repeat” violations are those about which an employer has been cited within the preceding five years, at any other facility in federal enforcement states. A “serious” violation is one from which death or serious physical harm may result, and which an employer knew or should have known exists.
OSHA’s investigation concluded that Stahl Specialty failed to isolate all sources of energy in or to the equipment; did not protect employees from unexpected machine movements during maintenance; lacked machine-specific lockout procedures; failed to adequately train workers on proper lockout procedures; failed to coordinate lockout procedures with an outside contractor; and did not correct illegible markings on a crane pendant control box.
In accordance with the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, Stahl Specialty Co. was allowed 15 business days from its receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.