In May we shared the tragic story of a Chattanooga man who was killed in an industrial work accident. The fatal accident occurred at the TAG manufacturing plant, which manufactures heavy steel parts for construction equipment. When we first discussed the incident, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration had just begun their investigation and details were sparse. But now, nearly six months later, the investigation has concluded and the company has been fined.
A 54-year-old worker was walking along a catwalk when he fell through a grated panel and into the machinery below. During an inspection it was found that the grated panels were not properly secured and prone to shifting.
Now the Tennessee Department of Labor has hit the company with $16,000 in fines. $14,500 will be for five ‘serious’ safety violations while another $1,350 would be levied for nine more ‘nonserious’ violations. The main citation reads, “TAG did not furnish employment or a place of employment that were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees, in that employees were exposed to the hazard of falling into the [machine].”
The company will appeal the fines stating, “To say we put him on a machine that we knew had this level of danger and that we didn’t care is highly offensive.”
The worker’s surviving family has been in negotiations with the temp agency that employed him in hopes of receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The man’s death is one of three workplace fatalities in Chattanooga this year.
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Source. TimesFreePress.com, ‘http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/nov/26/company-cited-in-death-of-worker/,’ Kate Harrison, November 26, 2012.
Source. KnoxNews.com, ‘http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/nov/26/chattanooga-company-appealing-fine-in-worker/?print=1,’ November 28, 2012.