This story shows that a lack of safety training can be costly, both in terms of human life and OSHA fines, and it provides a reminder for any workers involved in rebuilding towns struck by Hurricane Sandy: Make sure you have the safety training for the task at hand.
Robert Clark was part of a team trying to cut a water line in Joplin, MO, on May 16, 2012. Clark suffered fatal injuries to his neck when a saw kicked back while he and another worker were cutting section of old cast-iron pipe.
He was already dead by the time he was brought to a local hospital.
The work was part of Joplin’s rebuilding after a powerful tornado struck the city on May 22, 2011. The workers were rerouting water lines in a residential neighborhood that was being rebuilt.
The two willful violations involve:
- exposing workers to struck-by hazards while they were cutting water pipe by failing to provide support in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and company policies, and
- lack of training on pipe cutting.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest the violations.
The Missouri company is a subsidiary of American Water, which operates in 30 states and has more than 7,000 employees.