A worker operating a large baler at a Rochester, NY recycling facility was crushed to death in June when the machine unexpectedly activated while he was clearing material, catching him between the baler's pusher block/ram and its return cavity.
"This is exactly the type of needless and devastating incident that hazardous energy control procedures are designed to prevent," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for western New York. "Proper training and procedures would have equipped this worker with the knowledge to recognize the crushing hazard and prevent it in the first place."
Metalico Rochester Inc., has been cited for repeat citations for inadequate hazardous energy control.
OSHA inspectors found that the company had not developed and used procedures to lock out the baler's power source and also did not provide workers with the required training on those procedures. OSHA's hazardous energy control standard requires that machines be shut down and their power sources locked or tagged out to prevent them from activating while workers are cleaning or performing maintenance on them.
OSHA had cited Metalico Rochester Inc. in March 2010 for similar hazards at a Pittsburgh, Penn., location. The recurrence of those conditions in this case resulted in citations for two repeat violations. Additionally, one serious violation was cited for not providing safe access to the baler. Proposed penalties total $73,300.
Information on controlling hazardous energy, including an interactive eTool, is available www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/index.html.