Loose clothing can be fatal when it comes into contact with exposed moving machine parts.
California OSHA has fined Henkel Corp. $200,825 for seven violations involving the death of a 26-year-old worker at its Bay Point plant in April.
The worker, identified in local media as David Eleidjian of Antioch, CA, became entangled in the exposed rotating shaft of a mixer when mixing industrial adhesive. Cal/OSHA says the company failed to identify and safeguard against the hazards of working near the mixer.
Henkel received two willful citations for failure to:
- properly set up and maintain operation guards for the mixer involved, and
- follow its own injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) provisions regarding the identification and correction of serious hazards posed by the mixer.
Cal/OSHA’s investigation found the company continued to operate the mixer despite knowing the partial guard on the machine exposed workers to dangerous moving parts.
Henkel also received one general and four serious citations. Among the serious citations was one for failure to ensure sleeves on employee coveralls fit tightly so clothing wouldn’t get caught in machinery.
Eleidjian was a temporary worker at Henkel, hired by staffing agency HR Comp. The staffing agency was also fined $1,500 for failing to implement an effective written I2P2.
“This tragedy was completely preventable,” said Christine Baker, director of the CA Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA’s parent agency. She added that the death “underscores what can go wrong when employers do not take the necessary measures to correct workplace safety hazards.”