OSHA has cited Howard Industries Inc. – a manufacturer and supplier of electrical transmission and distribution equipment – for exposing employees to struck-by and fall hazards after a fatality at the company’s Laurel, Mississippi, facility. The company faces $53,040 in penalties. 

The employee was performing a leak test on a transformer when a drive chain supporting the equipment failed. OSHA cited the company for failing to ensure that employees used appropriate drive and safety chains; properly inspect, use, and maintain the chains; conduct a periodic inspection of the energy control procedures; ensure that procedures for using the leak test device explained how to isolate or control the release of hazardous energy; and provide fall protection.

“Employers have a duty to provide a workplace free from recognizable hazards,” said OSHA Jackson Area Director Courtney Bohannon. “Regularly inspecting equipment, training employees on the hazards they are exposed to and proper precautions are essential to their safety.”

OSHA provides resources on controlling hazardous energy, as well as an interactive training program on lockout/tagout.