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Coatings Company Fined After Worker Pinned by Crane

OSHA issued 10 safety citations and is proposing over $170k in fines following the employee death.

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A federal investigation, prompted by the death of a 51-year-old chemical technician at a coatings facility in Mosinee, WI has resulted in multiple safety violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued three repeated, four serious and three other than serious safety citations on Dec. 7, 2016, to the Schofield-based, Crystal Finishing Systems' following the agency's investigation into the employee death.

Federal investigators determined the worker suffered fatal injuries when an automated crane pinned him between the crane hook and dip tank load bars as it moved product to different tanks on an anodizing line. The employee was pronounced dead at the scene.The agency's investigation found Crystal Finishing failed to:

  • Adequately guard machines to prevent workers from coming in contact with operating parts.
  • Protect workers walking working surfaces.
  • Provided adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Train workers about hazardous chemicals in use at the facility.

"A man died tragically, leaving his family, friends and co-workers to suffer an overwhelming loss," said Robert Bonack, OSHA's area director in Appleton. "Crystal Finishing must improve its safety and health programs and procedures to protect workers at all its Wisconsin facilities." OSHA has proposed penalties of $171,169.

Based in Schofield, the company specializes in aluminum extrusion and applies powder coatings to a variety of underlying materials. It also operates a facility in River Falls, WI. 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.

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