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Cal/OSHA cites foundry for confined space accident after amputation

Posted On: Mar. 7, 2018 2:37 PM CST

Cal/OSHA cites foundry for confined space accident after amputation

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday it has cited Alhambra Foundry Co. Ltd. for workplace safety and health violations following a confined space accident that resulted in the amputation of an employee’s legs, with $283,390 in proposed fines.

In August, two workers at the foundry were cleaning and unjamming a 38-foot-long auger screw conveyor at the bottom hopper of an industrial air filtration device. One of the workers re-entered the 20-inch-square opening after the cleaning was done to retrieve a work light. A maintenance worker 45 feet away energized the equipment to perform a test. The moving auger screw pulled the worker into the screw conveyor. Both his legs had to be amputated to free him, Cal/OSHA said in a statement.

Cal/OSHA issued eight citations to Alhambra Foundry Co. after an investigation found that foundry did not have the permit-required confined space program, the screw conveyor was not de-energized and locked out before workers entered the hopper, and that Alhambra Foundry lacked specific procedures for de-energizing and locking out the equipment, according the statement.

“Sending a worker into a confined space is dangerous, especially inside machinery that can be powered on at any time. Employers must ensure that machinery and equipment are de-energized and locked out before workers enter the space to perform operations involving cleaning and servicing,” San Francisco-based Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said in a statement.

The attorney representing Alhambra could not be immediately reached for comment.