October 27, 2016
PLAINFIELD, Ill. – A federal investigation prompted by the death of a 50-year-old worker at the Plainfield steel processing facility has resulted in a half-dozen safety and health violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued six serious safety and health violations to Coilplus Illinois Inc., for violations its inspector found after the June 23, 2016, death.
Agency investigators determined the worker was standing on a pneumatic platform removing metal scrap from the scrap pit, when a piece of the metal scrap allegedly snagged the pneumatic line, causing it to disconnect and for the platform to return to a vertical position. When it did, the employee fell into the scrap pit where the metal trim entangled the man until the baller below pulled him through, resulting in his death.
The agency also found Coilplus failed to:
Evaluate for permit required confined spaces including posting danger signs.
Install handrails on stairways.
Conduct periodic inspections of machine safety procedures.
Affix lockout devices to isolate energy prior to allow employees to enter machine hazard areas.
Lacked guarding around machines to prevent workers for entering hazard areas.
Did not have adequate guardrails around the scrap pit area, exposing workers to a 9-foot fall.
“A man died tragically and his family, friends and co-workers are left to suffer an overwhelming loss,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in Calumet City. “Coilplus needs to make immediate changes to its safety and health programs to ensure workers are guarded from machine hazards at its facilities nationwide.”
OSHA has proposed penalties of $53,628. View current safety and health citations.
Coilplus Illinois is one of nine U.S. facilities operated by Rosemont-based Coilplus, which also has plants in Canada and Mexico. Coilplus is an operating subsidiary of Metal One Holdings America, also based in Rosemont. Metal One Holdings America, Inc. operates as a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation and Sojitz Corporation.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Calumet City Area Office at 708-891-3800.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.