The accident occurred Oct. 18, 2013, as laborer Edward M. Ulicne and a foreman were inspecting the inside of a vacuum tank on an industrial vacuum truck at the company’s Blairsville facility. While operating the hydraulic controls to the rear door of the tank, the foreman closed the rear door, pinning Ulicne between the door and frame of the tank. Ulicne died from his injuries on Oct. 22.
"This was a terrible, preventable tragedy that underscores the importance of following OSHA's standards to control hazardous energy by implementing a lockout program to protect workers who service or maintain machines," said Christopher Robinson, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office.
The nine serious violations included K. Dolan Corp.'s failure to: establish a lockout/tagout program and procedures to protect workers from moving parts of a machine during servicing and/or maintenance activities; properly guard floor holes; evaluate the vacuum truck to determine if a permit required confined space before employees entered it; train employees expected to use a portable fire extinguisher to fight an incipient stage fire; train employees on the safe operation of an industrial forklift; and anchor a pedestal drill press to the floor.
Eight other-than-serious citations were also cited, and included: the employer's failure to report the death of a worker; the workplace not being evaluated to determine if hazards were present and necessitated the use of personal protective equipment; and the continued use of a defective forklift despite it not being in safe operating condition.
OSHA's lockout/tagout interactive training program provides an in-depth understanding of the lockout/tagout standard.