News Brief

OSHA cites Oak Creek industrial laundry facility in worker’s death
Crothall Laundry Services failed to prevent equipment from operating

Employer name: Crothall Laundry Services Inc.

Inspection site: 9905 S. 13th St., Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Citations issued: Feb. 9, 2016

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Milwaukee area office cited Crothall Laundry Services for six serious safety violations.

OSHA opened an investigation after a 34-year-old man servicing equipment at the industrial laundry facility was severely injured on Aug. 13, 2015. A conveyor system propelled the employee into an industrial dryer and he became trapped. He died of his injuries on Aug. 27. Inspectors determined the dryer’s conveyor should have been made inoperable.

Inspectors also found:

  • Energy isolating devices for the control of hazardous energy were not used on dryers and conveyors.
  • Specific procedures for the control of hazardous energy were not developed for dyers and conveyors.
  • The company failed to inspect energy-control procedures at least annually.
  • Workers were not trained on the methods and means necessary for energy isolation.
  • The company exposed workers to fall hazards because a guardrail system or other alternative fall protection system was not in place for workers on an elevated conveyor system.
  • Improper use of fiberglass ladders.

Quote: “This man’s untimely death would easily have been prevented if Crothall Laundry had utilized procedures to prevent the conveyor belt from operating while the worker was conducting servicing,” said Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “Training workers and complying with OSHA standards protect workers from injury and death on the job.”

Proposed Penalties: $41,200

View Citations here:

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Milwaukee Area Office at 414-297-3315.

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