Saying “safety is simply not a priority” for this company, OSHA has fined a Missouri firm $189,000 after it experienced its third worker death in five years. The most recent death involved a motor vehicle.
Sharpe Holdings of La Belle, MO, received one repeat and 17 serious violations. OSHA inspected the cattle farm after a 51-year-old equipment operator suffered serious head injuries after being ejected from the rear of a van on Sept. 26, 2015. He died the following day.
OSHA says the company didn’t provide seat belts, secure passenger seats or latch the rear doors of the van used on the farm.
Additional violations include:
- workers exposed to amputation and other serious injuries while servicing and maintaining various types of equipment because the company failed to develop and use procedures to prevent the unintentional start of machinery
- fans, shafts and other machinery lacked guards to prevent workers from coming in contact with moving parts
- multiple electrical hazards
- confined space hazards
- lack of respiratory protection, and
- no emergency eyewash stations where corrosive materials were present.
This was Sharpe’s third worker fatality since 2012.
On Sept. 1, 2014, a 35-year-old worker doing maintenance work on an overhead door’s pulleys died after he fell off a 12-foot ladder onto a concrete floor. OSHA issued eight serious violations which Sharpe contested.
In October 2012, an auto mechanic at a company repair shop died of complications during treatment for injuries when a tire rim struck him.
The company has been cited seven times by OSHA since September 2012. OSHA placed Sharpe in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Sharpe “knowingly refuses to follow basic safety procedures,” according to Mike Minicky, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis.
The company has contested this latest round of fines. The case could go before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
More than 1,800 U.S. workers died in transportation-related incidents in 2014, a rate of five per day.