Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.
Zachary Henzerling, a 20 year old ” big kid at heart,” was on his third week at work for Environmental Enterprises Inc., a hazardous waste management facility in Spring Valley, Ohio, when he was killed 2012 in a flash fire and explosion on Dec. 28, 2012.
Last week the company plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide in the death of Henzerling. The company got off easy:
|“This is definitely a company that was bound to kill someone and when the did, they got a slap on the wrist.”|
Henzerling’s death was particularly heartbreaking (and listen to the video):
Despite the guilty plea, the company continues to claim it was baseless.
But the OSHA report says otherwise:
The citations included violations of standards covering the company’s failure to train employees, ventilate the flammable storage room, no written housekeeping program for arsenic and other chemicals, inadequate decontamination procedures and written emergency response plan, and precautions had not been taken to prevent ignition of flammable vapors in the flammable storage room.
OSHA’s initial penalties totaled $294,300 and the company was added to OSHA’s Severe Violators List. The penalties were later reduced in a settlement to $45,000.
The company had been cited for a variety of violations related to explosions, accidents and injuries dating all the way back to 1976.
One observer who was familiar with the case and requested anonymity, observed that “This is definitely a company that was bound to kill someone and when the did, they got a slap on the wrist.”
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