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Texas company cited in fatal industrial accident

Two hundred miles southwest of Houston, a plating company has been cited for safety violations at its Corpus Christi plant.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the firm after an industrial accident there earlier this year in which a worker was killed while learning how to work with a blast cabinet.

The man was hit by a gas compressor power cylinder, OSHA said in a statement. He died from the severe injuries sustained in the incident.

OSHA's area director was blunt in a statement, saying employers are responsible for finding safety violations and then fixing them. The Corpus Christi company "failed to do so and that cost a worker his life. OSHA will not tolerate such neglect."

OSHA issued 15 safety regulation violations deemed serious to the company. Among the violations the federal agency cited were a failure to ensure that employees are protected from being hit by unsecured equipment and a failure to ensure that workers are in proper protective gear when they're doing chromium electroplating.

When a violation is categorized as serious, it means OSHA has determined that there's "substantial probability" that a fatality or "serious physical harm" could take place because of a workplace hazard the company either knew about or should have known about.

Back in 2008, the same company was inspected by OSHA after one of its employees "suffered a foot amputation."

Three citations were issued after that incident.

The current citations will result in a fine of over $49,000 if the company doesn't wage a successful appeal.

Of course, none of that money will go to the victim's family. In many similar cases, a worker not only leaves behind a family unexpectedly without a cherished member, but also without needed income and benefits.

In that case, they do well to speak to an attorney with a track record of success in wrongful death litigation.

Source: OSHA, "Coastal Plating Co. in Corpus Christi cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA with 15 serious violations after a worker was struck and killed," Nov. 19, 2013

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