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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said an employee’s death at an auto parts business in Bellingham, Massachusetts, last year was "preventable."
OSHA cited John’s Used Autos and Parts for 12 serious violations of workplace safety standards resulting in total proposed penalties of $27,157.
The employee was struck in the head by a chain come-along device on Oct. 31, 2016, while he attempted to inflate and mount a multipiece rim wheel on a vehicle, according to an OSHA statement on Tuesday. He died Nov. 11.
Inspectors from OSHA’s Braintree, Massachusetts, area office found the company failed to provide adequate training to protect employees tasked with servicing rim wheels. In addition, the employer did not establish safe operating procedures and failed to provide a restraining device for employees to use while inflating tires, OSHA’s citation said.
“This employee’s death was preventable,” James Mulligan, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Servicing rim wheels such as these is dangerous, exposing employees to struck-by and other hazards. An employer must train workers properly and equip them to do this kind of work safely before they start the job.”
Inspectors also found violations related to a lack of exit route signage, personal protective equipment, forklift training, electrical safety and training about hazardous chemicals in the workplace. The employer also did not notify OSHA of the employee’s death as required, the citation said.
Representatives from John’s Used Autos and Parts could not immediately be reached for comment.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a new rule to lower workplace exposure to beryllium.