Auto parts manufacturer ALJoon LLC received a fine of $500,000 and agreed to pay $1 million in a criminal case over the death of a temporary worker at a facility in Cusseta, Alabama, OSHA announced last week.
The worker, who was a temporary machine operator, died in June 2016 after suffering crushing injuries.
ALJoon, which operates as Ajin USA of Cusseta, faced criminal prosecution after the incident, according to the agency. OSHA had cited the company for 23 violations, including 19 egregious willful violation for failing to use energy control procedures to prevent machinery from starting during maintenance.
The company pleaded guilty to one count of willful violation causing death to an employee, according to OSHA. In addition to the financial payments, Ajin USA must follow a three-year safety compliance plan and the company will remain on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The incident happened on June 18, 2016, when the worker entered an enclosure containing several robots and other pieces of machinery, according to court documents. The worker was attempting to troubleshoot a sensor fault on a piece of machinery that had stopped working. However, one of the robots energized and the worker was struck by a robotic arm which pinned her against another piece of machinery. Her co-workers were able to free her and perform first aid; however, she died after being transferred to a hospital in Birmingham.
Court documents say the company was aware that employees were not following lockout/tagout procedures.