A worker at a Youngstown, Ohio steel mill suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis Feb. 27th when he was crushed between two machines because the company failed to protect workers from moving machinery parts, according to OSHA. The man has been unable to return to work since the accident.
The machine operator ’s employer, Vallourec Star, was cited for 22 serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $94,000.
Company did not "prioritize safety"
"Manufacturers that operate dangerous machinery must be aware of the daily hazards workers face while working with this machinery. Vallourec Star did not prioritize safety," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland.
OSHA's inspection found that the full-time operator was crushed between an activated transfer paddle and a stationary electrical box in the plant. The injury occurred because the company did not have sufficient procedures to protect workers from moving machinery parts during servicing or maintenance and failed to train workers to recognize hazards and proper machine lockout procedures. Equipment at the mill also lacked adequate machine guards designed to prevent injuries.
These hazards are among OSHA's most frequently cited violations.
Other violations involved failure to protect workers from fall hazards in the mill, including unguarded floor openings, ladderways, and open-sided platforms and staircases that lacked guard and handrails. The company was cited for using damaged and improperly wired electrical components and forklifts that needed repair.
Vallourec Star produces seamless tubular products, primarily for oil and gas applications. The company has an electric steel mill and two tube rolling mills in Youngstown. A subsidiary of Vallourec USA, the company also operates facilities in Houston and Muskogee, Oklahoma.
On July 14 the company was cited for a serious violation for exposing workers to excessive noise.