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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Mississippi Manufacturer For Exposing Employees to Safety Hazards After Fatal Incident

LAUREL, MS – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Howard Industries Inc. – a manufacturer and supplier of electrical transmission and distribution equipment – for exposing employees to struck-by and fall hazards after a fatality at the company’s Laurel, Mississippi, facility. The company faces $53,040 in penalties. 

The employee was performing a leak test on a transformer when a drive chain supporting the equipment failed. OSHA cited the company for failing to ensure that employees used appropriate drive and safety chains; properly inspect, use, and maintain the chains; conduct a periodic inspection of the energy control procedures; ensure that procedures for using the leak test device explained how to isolate or control the release of hazardous energy; and provide fall protection.

“Employers have a duty to provide a workplace free from recognizable hazards,” said OSHA Jackson Area Director Courtney Bohannon. “Regularly inspecting equipment, training employees on the hazards they are exposed to and proper precautions are essential to their safety.”

OSHA provides resources on controlling hazardous energy, as well as an interactive training program on lockout/tagout.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
September 30, 2019
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino
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