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Spooling machine death leads to safety citations

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A Florida electrical cable manufacturer is facing $226,431 in proposed fines following the death of a 26-year-old machine operator.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 12 citations to Milton, Florida-based Gulf Cable L.L.C. for failing to take measures to protect Jonathan Gilmore, who was pulled into a re-spool machine and crushed as he attempted to guide electrical wiring cable into the machine in November 2016, according to a press release issued by the agency on Thursday.

OSHA’s investigation found the machine lacked the required guarding to prevent him from coming into contact with its moving parts and the agency issued one willful citation for the company’s failure to install guards to prevent machine operators from coming into contact with the cable as it winds onto the spool, according to the release.

OSHA also issued one repeat citation for failing to develop, document and utilize hazardous energy control procedures to prevent machines from operating while employees performed service and maintenance, as well as seven serious and three other-than-serious safety violations.

“Jonathan Gilmore’s death could have been prevented,” Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, Florida, said in a statement. “Employers have a responsibility to provide safe work environments for their workers regardless of production schedules. When employers fail to use equipment properly and safely, they put employees at risk of serious injury or worse.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.