Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

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Catastrophic Safety Failure

Federal investigators find Ohio foundry’s failure to follow required safety procedures led to fatal steam explosion

Photo by: News 5 Cleveland

1 fatality, 15 injuries, and work site’s complete loss

BEDFORD, OH – A federal workplace safety investigation into a Beford foundry explosion that caused the death of a maintenance supervisor and injuries to 15 other employees found the operator, I. Schumann & Co. LLC, failed to protect workers from the hazard of steam explosions.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned the explosion happened while employees inspected a water leak on a furnace used to smelt solid metals. OSHA determined water leaked onto the molten metal inside the furnace, causing a steam explosion. Inspectors found the company did not make sure that required lockout/tag out procedures were followed during the inspection of the furnace.

“This terrible tragedy could have been avoided if the employer followed well-known machine safety standards that are meant to prevent this type of explosion,” explained OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland, Ohio. “Sadly, a worker lost his life and 15 others were hurt in an incident that was entirely preventable. It’s exactly why employers need to follow required safety procedures and train their employees.”

OSHA cited the company for six serious violations and has proposed $62,500 in penalties. The foundry remains closed since the explosion.

Based in Bedford since 1917, I. Schumann & Co. today recycles material into metal alloys, ingots and pellets.

OSHA’s machine guarding and control of hazardous energy webpages provide information on what employers must do to limit worker exposures to machine hazards.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by OSHA