Preventable Fatality

Original article published by OSHA

Federal workplace safety investigation of Mapleton foundry worker’s fatal fallinto molten iron finds Caterpillar failed to install required fall protection

Just 9 days on the job, 39-year-old employee suffers fatal burns

MAPLETON, IL ‒ On June 2, 2022, a 39-year-old employee of a Mapleton foundry fell and was immediately incinerated in an 11-foot-deep pot of molten iron heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A federal investigation determined that, if required safety guards or fall protection had been installed, the 39-year-old employee’s ninth day on the job might not have been their last.

Caterpillar of Irving, Texas – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial vehicles and equipment – operates the foundry, which produces cast iron engine components.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the foundry routinely exposed employees to unprotected fall hazards as they worked within four feet of deep ceramic containers of super-heated molten iron. The deceased worker, a melting specialist, was removing a sample of iron from a furnace when they fell into the melting pot.

“A worker’s life could have been spared if Caterpillar had made sure required safety protections were in place, a fact that only adds to this tragedy,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago. “Producing more than 150,000 tons each year, Caterpillar’s foundry is one of the nation’s largest and they should be acutely aware of industry regulations to protect workers using smelters and other dangerous equipment.”

Federal safety regulations require employers to install guardrails and restraint systems, or to cover or otherwise eliminate the hazard to protect workers from falls into dangerous equipment.

OSHA cited Caterpillar Inc. for one willful violation and proposed fines of $145,027.

“Caterpillar’s failure to meet its legal responsibilities to ensure the safety and health of workers leaves this worker’s family, friends and co-workers to grieve needlessly,” said OSHA Area Director Christine Zortman in Peoria. “We implore employers to review the agency specific regulations to protect workers from falls into equipment in industrial settings.”

Caterpillar Inc. employs more than 800 workers at the foundry, who provide engine components used for construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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.

Repeated Safety Hazards

Original article published by OSHA

Philadelphia contractor’s history of exposing workers to deadly fall hazardscontinues, US Department of Labor proposes $269K in penalties

Ninth inspection since 2021 finds Max Contractors Inc. workers’ safety at risk

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia framing contractor faces $269,594 in proposed penalties after the company was again found exposing employees to deadly fall hazards at a residential worksite in the city’s Roxborough section on April 21, 2022.

OSHA inspected Max Contractors Inc. in response to a report that the company was exposing workers to fall hazards while conducting framing work in a residential structure on Carson Street. Inspectors observed workers on the building’s second and third levels working near floor holes and the edge of the building without fall protection, exposing them to falls up to 22 feet.

OSHA cited the company for three serious and six repeat violations for not providing fall protection and protective eyewear while using air-powered nail guns, failing to train employees as required and allowing improper use of ladders. The company was issued proposed penalties of $269,594.

Max Contractors Inc. has a long history of not complying with U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. In eight inspections conducted in 2021, the company was cited for five willful and 21 serious violations for ignoring federal fall protection requirements.

“Max Contractors’ repeated and blatant disregard for its employees’ safety and well-being will not be tolerated,” said Philadelphia OSHA Area Director Theresa Downs. “Falls can cause serious, potentially debilitating injuries and death. OSHA will hold employers like Max Contractors Inc. accountable until they meet their legal obligation to respect workers’ rights to a safe workplace.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,008 construction workers died at work in 2020, and 351 of them suffered fatal injuries in falls from elevation.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and proper safety procedures.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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.

Preventable Fatality

Original article published by OSHA

Federal workplace safety investigation of Mapleton foundry worker’s fatal fallinto molten iron finds Caterpillar failed to install required fall protection

Just 9 days on the job, 39-year-old employee suffers fatal burns

MAPLETON, IL ‒ On June 2, 2022, a 39-year-old employee of a Mapleton foundry fell and was immediately incinerated in an 11-foot-deep pot of molten iron heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A federal investigation determined that, if required safety guards or fall protection had been installed, the 39-year-old employee’s ninth day on the job might not have been their last.

Caterpillar of Irving, Texas – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial vehicles and equipment – operates the foundry, which produces cast iron engine components.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the foundry routinely exposed employees to unprotected fall hazards as they worked within four feet of deep ceramic containers of super-heated molten iron. The deceased worker, a melting specialist, was removing a sample of iron from a furnace when they fell into the melting pot.

“A worker’s life could have been spared if Caterpillar had made sure required safety protections were in place, a fact that only adds to this tragedy,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago. “Producing more than 150,000 tons each year, Caterpillar’s foundry is one of the nation’s largest and they should be acutely aware of industry regulations to protect workers using smelters and other dangerous equipment.”

Federal safety regulations require employers to install guardrails and restraint systems, or to cover or otherwise eliminate the hazard to protect workers from falls into dangerous equipment.

OSHA cited Caterpillar Inc. for one willful violation and proposed fines of $145,027.

“Caterpillar’s failure to meet its legal responsibilities to ensure the safety and health of workers leaves this worker’s family, friends and co-workers to grieve needlessly,” said OSHA Area Director Christine Zortman in Peoria. “We implore employers to review the agency specific regulations to protect workers from falls into equipment in industrial settings.”

Caterpillar Inc. employs more than 800 workers at the foundry, who provide engine components used for construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

What causes falls in construction? CPWR survey digs in

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Lack of pre-work planning is a key underlying cause of falls in the construction industry, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

CPWR distributed the survey from February to May 2021 and received 495 responses from people who had been involved in, witnessed or investigated a fall incident.

More than a quarter (26.9%) of the incidents reportedly were fatal and 58.9% required immediate medical care.

The respondents most commonly identified insufficient or ineffective pre-work planning as the primary cause for the falls (27.4%). Notably, the odds of using fall protection were 71% lower for workers whose employer or competent person didn’t complete a pre-work task plan.

Other key findings:

  • 48.8% of the respondents said no fall protection was being used at the time of the incident.
  • Workers who believed fall protection was required by their employer were eight times more likely to use it than those who thought it was optional.
  • Individuals who worked for a subcontractor at the time of the fall incident were 2.7 times more likely to die from the fall compared with those who worked for a general contractor.

“Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and they are preventable,” CPWR says. “This study provides actionable findings about leading root causes of falls and identifies opportunities for future research to better understand this urgent occupational safety issue and effectively address it.”


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

US Department of Labor finds Illinois contractor exposed roofing workers to deadly fall hazards twice in 10 days at separate job sites

First published by OSHA

Joshua Herion ignores OSHA safety rules, faces $360K in penalties

WAUKEGAN, IL – A Waukegan contractor – with a history of violating federal safety standards and ignoring safety citations – was cited again by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in October 2021. Joshua Herion – who does business as ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. – faces proposed penalties of $360,531.

A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector observed a foreman and two roofers atop a Hoffman Estates commercial building working at heights of up to 20 feet off the ground with inadequate fall protection. Just 10 days later, an OSHA inspector observed a crew of three working at heights greater than 12 feet atop a residential building in Waukesha, Wisconsin, without fall protection equipment.

Falls can be prevented: PLAN ahead to get the job done safely PROVIDE the right equipment TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

OSHA found ECS Roofing Professionals failed to equip workers with adequate fall protection equipment, train workers on its use, provide safe access to a ladder jack scaffold platform and ensure head and eye protection were used. The agency issued one willful, four repeat and eight serious violations.

“In both of these incidents, the foreman left the site and directed others to do so when OSHA inspectors began asking questions about their safety procedures. This defiant act demonstrates Joshua Herion and his company’s disregard for the safety and well-being of workers and the law,” said OSHA’s Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Des Plaines, Illinois, who investigated the Hoffman Estates job site. “Fall hazards make roofing work among the construction industry’s most dangerous jobs and among OSHA’s most frequently cited safety hazards.”

The pair of recent inspections continues the company’s history of failing to protect its roofing workers. Since 2014, ECS Roofing Professionals has been cited seven times by OSHA for similar hazards at other job sites. The employer has failed to respond to OSHA’s requests for information, has not responded to citations from previous inspections and has had $139,656 in unpaid OSHA penalties referred to debt collection.

“While ECS Roofing Professionals seem willing to ignore the dangers of falls and the potential for serious injuries or worse, OSHA will hold Joshua Herion and other roofing contractors accountable for failing to meet the legal requirements to provide safe working conditions,” said OSHA’s Area Director Christine Zortman in Milwaukee, who investigated the Waukesha job site. “Fall injuries and fatalities are preventable with the proper use of safety equipment and training.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, 1,008 construction workers died on the job, with 351 of those fatalities due to falls from elevation.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and proper safety procedures. Learn more about OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, set for May 2-6.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties for the Hoffman Estates site and the Waukesha site to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Construction Initiative

First published by OSHA

US Department of Labor implements initiative to conduct random, weekend
safety inspections to protect construction workers from falls, trench collapses

‘Weekend Work’ initiative will identify safety concerns in 10 counties

DENVER – As work at construction project sites increases in Colorado’s Front Range, more workers may find themselves exposed to falls and trenching and excavation hazards. Over the last two years, at least six workers have suffered fatal falls, and nearly a dozen excavation collapses and trenching incidents have led to the deaths of three workers in Colorado.

To make these work sites safer, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has implemented a “Weekend Work” initiative in which federal workplace safety and health inspections will occur randomly on weekends in Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, El Paso, Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Larimer and Weld counties. OSHA’s area offices in Denver and Englewood will continue these inspections into the fall of 2021.

“Our Weekend Work initiative will identify and address construction-related hazards at worksites in 10 different counties along the Front Range on days when worksites often go unchecked,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Nancy Hauter in Denver. “This is a proactive effort to identify hazardous worksites and to ensure workers end their shifts safely.”

Learn more about OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation standardsRead about how to protect workers from fall hazards in construction.


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.

The eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held May 3-7.

First published by OSHA

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Photo: OSHA

The 2021 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is scheduled for May 3–7, OSHA has announced. The annual safety stand-down is intended to raise awareness of fall hazards and to encourage conversations about industry best practices to prevent fall fatalities and injuries. According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers: in 2018, 320 of the 1,008 fatalities recorded in construction were attributed to falls.

Workplaces that participated in past years’ safety stand-downs include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, subcontractors and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. military, other government participants, unions, trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers. OSHA encourages any employer who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace to participate. Employers whose workers are not exposed to fall hazards can use the safety stand-down as an opportunity to focus on other job hazards, protective methods, and safety policies and goals. Following the stand-down, employers will be able to download a certificate of participation and provide feedback about their experience.

The website for the safety stand-down provides resources to help workplaces participate in the event, including free training materials, videos, and additional educational resources. Highlights​ from previous years are also available.​​​​​

 


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Sixth Annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls: May 6-10, 2019

OSHA and its partners will host events throughout the country in honor of the sixth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction May 6-10, 2019. Employers and workers will pause to talk about fall hazards, OSHA compliance, and industry best practices to prevent falls. The 2019 poster is now available on OSHA’s publications page.