CHICAGO Globe Metallurgical Inc. faces $106,000 in penalties after the October death of a worker at its silicon metal plant in Selma, Ala.
The U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an inspection of the plant Oct. 26 after an employee died in a 16-foot fall.
OSHA didnt name the worker, and Globe didnt respond to a request for comment May 15. But the Selma Times-Journal reported in October that the victim was Marvin Bennett, 46, of Selma.
"This incident could have been prevented," OSHA area director Joseph Roesler said in a statement. "Employers cannot allow workers to be exposed to unguarded equipment or fire (and) explosion hazards. Its imperative that management eliminate the hazards from the workplace."
OSHA accused Globe, a subsidiary of New York-based Globe Specialty Metals Inc., of serious and repeat safety violations. These allegations included failing to protect workers from floor openings, not making sure that all railings on an electrode platform met minimal safety requirements, and not ensuring that all electrical panels, boxes and fittings had closed knockouts. OSHA found similar violations at the Selma plant following inspections in 2009 and 2010, the agency said.
OSHA also alleged that Globe had failed to ensure that workers in the feeder tunnel werent exposed to an unguarded skip hoist and accused the company of exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards by allowing combustible dust to accumulate on surfaces such as electric panels, ledges and I-beams.
Globes facility in Selma has two furnaces and makes silicon metal, according to the companys website.
OSHA said the Selma plant smelts silicon from wood ships and river rocks.