They didn’t even give the most minimal safety training to a temp who was just supposed to sweep the floor.
That proved to be a fatal error in more ways than one. The temp was killed one hour before she was supposed to have finished her very first shift.
The plant was engulfed in and eventually overwhelmed by litigation (criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice, multiple OSHA fines and abatement orders, plus a civil suit by the surviving husband), so a few months later the whole plant was forced to shut down.
The temp sweeping the floor around an assembly line wanted to do a good job to aspire to a permanent position in the plant. She had no trouble getting inside a fence that was supposed to keep people out. That’s when the machine started up and crushed her to death.
Safety officer lost his job, too
Among the people who lost their jobs in the plant closure was the safety manager.
When he was interviewed by OSHA inspector Vanessa Martin, she already knew from interviews with other employees that the fence safety locks were routinely rigged with Styrofoam wads.
“I’m actually kind of glad that you already found out,” the safety manager said, “because I didn’t want to be the one to have to tell you.”
From the presentation, “OSHA’s most interesting cases” at the National Safety Council.