Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Jul 23, 2015

Seattle employer fined $215,250 after employee injured by rotating shaft

Safety and HealthWorkers’ Comp 

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recently fined Industrial Container Services $215,250 after one of its Seattle employees was injured by a rotating shaft while working in a confined space.

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recently fined Industrial Container Services $215,250 after one of its Seattle employees was injured by a rotating shaft while working in a confined space. L&I had cited the company’s Seattle location for similar violations in 2013, but determined that the hazards weren’t corrected. The company refurbished industrial containers by shot-blasting them while rotating shafts moved them through a 24-foot-long tunnel. L&I determined that maintenance workers regularly entered the tunnel without proper safety precautions such as de-energizing the equipment. L&I cited the company for multiple serious violations, including “repeat-serious” violations, and designated the company as a severe violator, which means it could be subject to greater scrutiny at its other locations across the country. The company is appealing the citation.

Tips: Injuries in confined spaces can be extremely serious and yet are generally preventable. Ask your Vigilant safety professional for help and advice in identifying permit-required confined spaces, cataloging their hazards, and establishing procedures for addressing the hazards. Also, search for “confined spaces” in the BLR safety database on the Vigilant member website. You’ll find a wealth of tools, including permits, checklists, PowerPoint presentations, trainer’s guides, handouts, and quizzes, all free to Vigilant members.

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