Worker fatally crushed at manufacturing facility: $210K fine

This manufacturer ran into major regulatory trouble after a tragic safety incident claimed the life of one worker. 

Last November, an employee at Adams Thermal Systems, Inc., was crushed to death while working at the engine cooling systems manufacturing plant.

In the OSHA investigation that followed, inspectors issued three violations totaling $210,000 in fines. All three violations were classified as willful, and each carried the maximum penalty of $70,000 per citation.

The citations were for failure to:

  • develop energy control procedures
  • provide machine guarding, and
  • train employees on recognizing hazardous energy and taking safety precautions.

OSHA officials said Adams had “full awareness” workers were exposed to these hazards, prompting the willful classifications.

The company was also placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which means inspectors will be back for followup inspections. Adams has had run-ins with OSHA before. In 2004, an employee suffered an amputation injury and was fined for machine guarding hazards. In 2011, another employee had his fingers crushed while operating a press.

Adams’ CEO said he plans to contest the violations and the company’s placement in the SVEP.

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