Cedarburg company cited by OSHA in March death of lathe operator

CEDARBURG -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Cedarburg company for one willful, and one serious violation of machine safety standards, as a result of the worker’s death on March 17th.

Officials said in a news release issued on Tuesday, September 6th that as he hand-polished a 40-inch long metal cylinder, a 36-year-old lathe operator became entangled in the machine’s operating spindle and suffered injuries that led to his death two days later.

An investigation into the incident by federal inspectors found the worker's employer, Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp. allowed the computer numerical controlled lathe to operate with its safety interlocks bypassed. The interlocks prevent workers from coming in contact with moving machine parts. OSHA’s inspection found the lathe’s door that provided guarding, was open exposing the worker to the machines rotating parts.

Unrelated to the incident, agency inspectors found the company also failed to follow proper procedures to fully power down equipment to prevent sudden movement or starts.

OSHA has proposed penalties of nearly $125,000.

Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp. has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.