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Globe faces penalties after death at Ala. facility: OSHA

Keywords: Tags  Globe Specialty Metals, Globe Metallurgical, worker death, Selma plant, Alabama plant, OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor safety violations

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 Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an inspection of the plant Oct. 26 after an employee died in a 16-foot fall.

OSHA didn’t name the worker, and Globe didn’t 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. It’s 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 weren’t 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.

Globe’s facility in Selma has two furnaces and makes silicon metal, according to the company’s website.

OSHA said the Selma plant smelts silicon from wood ships and river rocks.

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