OSHA Fines Company $35,000 for Role in Death of Mechanic

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According to Syracuse.com, The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA — has charged the Otis Elevator Company with a $35,000 fine for their role in a mechanic?s death. OSHA claims that the company did not follow recommended safety procedures and did not give the mechanic proper training.

Last May, Christopher Hamelinck, a 53 year old mechanic, was working on a nursing home elevator. Hamelinck was doing maintenance work on the elevator when another elevator, from an upper floor, came down, essentially pinning him between a support beam and a steel ladder. At the time, state police had ruled that the incident was an accident.

Fall May Have Been the Result of Serious Safety Oversites

OSHA, however, says that the oversites they observed were ?serious.? OSHA says that the elevator company should have — but didn?t — evaluate the elevator pit to ensure that there were not any permit-required confined spaces. It also says that the company failed to establish procedures regarding how long its employees could spend in these confined spaces. Additionally, it did not appear to be the case that Hamelinck was trained well enough to handle working in permit-required confined spaces, such as the elevator pit he was working in.

OSHA standards routinely require systems of locking and tagging while working with potentially moving equipment; it found that Otis?s standing practices avoided doing this, resulting in Hamelinck not locking or tagging out the elevator that killed him while he was performing maintenance work below it. Syracuse.com says that the Otis Elevator Company is planning to contest the citation.

How to Run Your Business: Educate Employees About Fall Protection, Crosby Forged Shackles

If you own a business in the construction industry, you likely know the importance of proper training and regulations. OSHA fines can be astronomically high depending on the perceived severity of the case — and of course, you don?t want your employees injured or killed while working for you, either. Luckily, numerous companies offer options for fall protection certification and rigging courses so that you can get your employees up to speed on the latest requirements. OSHA fall protection training will ensure that workers know weight limits, height limits, how to properly use rigging supplies and Crosby forged shackles, and more.

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