A 45-year-old machine operator was fatally crushed while he adjusted a set screw on a rolling mill at Cleveland Track Material on Aug. 21, 2014. An OSHA investigation found that workers were exposed to dangerous rotating machinery parts at the facility that rolls steel for railroad industry use. Seven serious violations have been issued as a result of the investigation.
"A son lost his father, and a wife lost her husband," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "This tragedy could have been prevented had the employer implemented basic safety precautions associated with dangerous machinery."
OSHA's inspection found that the lead rolling mill operator, who had been employed at Cleveland Track Materials for 16 years, came in contact with a spinning shaft. He suffered fatal blunt force trauma and injuries related to crushing as a result.
Frequently cited violations
The company failed to ensure the worker was protected against contact with rotating parts, chains and sprockets and that machines were properly guarded and locked out prior to maintenance. Additionally, employees were inadequately trained on these procedures. These violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA at manufacturing plants.
OSHA has proposed fines totaling $49,000.
Cleveland Track Material, a subsidiary of Vossloh North America, is based in Reading, Pennsylvania. The company employs about 250 workers at manufacturing facilities in Cleveland, Reading and Memphis, Tennessee.