Worker killed by release of pressurized hydraulic fluid
Komatsu America Corp. facility had similar hazards last year
OSHA has cited Komatsu America Corp. in Peoria, Ill. with four safety violations, including two repeat, after a worker at the company’s truck manufacturing plant was injured while testing hydraulic cylinders for leakage. During that process, the hydraulic coupler on the return line of the hoist stand failed and released pressurized hydraulic fluid, which struck the worker.
Two repeat violations were cited for failing to develop machine-specific energy control procedures and training to ensure workers understood energy control procedures. Similar violations were cited at the Peoria facility in January 2011.
Two serious violations were also cited for failing to evaluate and correct repeated catastrophic failures of critical machine parts, include authorized employees while conducting annual inspections, document annual inspection reviews of energy control procedures and include each authorized employee in the review.
"This unfortunate incident might have been prevented had the employer addressed previous incidents where the hydraulic coupler had failed," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria.
Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., and is headquartered in Rolling Meadows. The company has been inspected 43 times in 12 states in the past 21 years for safety issues, such as the control of hazardous energy and machine guarding.
Proposed penalties total $82,000.