OSHA: Oak Creek industrial laundry facility cited in worker’s death

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OAK CREEK — The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Milwaukee area office cited on Crothall Laundry Services on February 9th for six serious safety violations.

OSHA opened an investigation after a 34-year-old man servicing equipment at the industrial laundry facility was severely injured in August 2015. Officials say a conveyor system propelled the employee into an industrial dryer and he became trapped. The man died of his injuries two weeks later.

Inspectors determined the dryer’s conveyor should have been made inoperable.

Inspectors also found:

  • Energy isolating devices for the control of hazardous energy were not used on dryers and conveyors.
  • Specific procedures for the control of hazardous energy were not developed for dyers and conveyors.
  • The company failed to inspect energy-control procedures at least annually.
  • Workers were not trained on the methods and means necessary for energy isolation.
  • The company exposed workers to fall hazards because a guardrail system or other alternative fall protection system was not in place for workers on an elevated conveyor system.
  • Improper use of fiberglass ladders.

Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee, said the following in a statement:

This man’s untimely death would easily have been prevented if Crothall Laundry had utilized procedures to prevent the conveyor belt from operating while the worker was conducting servicing.”

Crothall Laundry Services faces more than $41,000 in fines.

1 Comment

  • A yooper

    The company that I work for uses a system called ” lockout Tagout” All energy systems reletive to all equipment involved is powered off and locked with affected employee carrying the key. The company is responsible to be sure procedures are being followed. Human nature is to try to take a shortcut.

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