DOL cites SPI/Mobile Pulley Works after investigation into worker’s death

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is citing a Mobile dredging equipment manufacturer after investigation into 22-year-old worker’s death.

Earlier this year, the apprentice atop a crane bridge 30 feet in the air suffered fatal injuries when he became caught in a crane trolley’s drive shaft, a tragedy that federal inspectors say could have been prevented. 

The Alabama resident, part of a five-man team employed by SPI/Mobile Pulley Works Inc. to repair a 50-ton hoist, was guiding a heavy steel cable onto a hoist drum when the incident occurred.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the employer failed to ensure workers were removed from the structure of the crane, or otherwise out of the path of moving components while the crane was in operation.  

OSHA’s inspection led to 11 serious and two other-than-serious violations for the Mobile-based dredging equipment manufacturer.

Inspectors found that the company failed to provide a workplace free from hazards and exposed them to caught-in and crushed-by hazards that would likely cause death or serious physical harm.

OSHA also identified the following violations:

  • Allowed employees to work near unguarded equipment, which exposed them to struck-by and caught-in hazards;
  • Failed to conduct periodic inspections of the crane;
  • Exposed workers to respiratory hazards by requiring employees to wear half-mask negative pressure respirators without proper fit tests, and did not provide training on respirator use to minimize the number of employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica;
  • Failed to provide proper training on fall protection systems, exposing workers to fall hazards;
  • Failed to inspect alloy steel chain slings used for rigging.

OSHA proposed $89,141 in penalties. 

Photo: Ellis Deas facebook