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May 30, 2024
Stanley Black + Decker facing $222K OSHA fine

MTD Products Inc., doing business as Stanley Black + Decker, faces $222,392 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines after a 29-year-old maintenance electrician suffered severe burns during an electrical arc blast at the company’s Willard, Ohio, facility, the agency announced May 28.

An arc flash occurs when an electric current travels from one conductor to another or to the ground. Arc flashes can produce temperatures over 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing death or serious injury to those nearby. The blast at the Stanley Black + Decker facility occurred while the electrician replaced fuses to repair an industrial oven.

OSHA opened an inspection at the Willard facility in response to the employer’s report of a worker’s hospitalization, and agency investigators identified several safety issues.

They found that the company failed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) as required when employees were working around energized electrical equipment.

OSHA also determined that Stanley Black + Decker lacked safe work practices and training for electrical maintenance employees and lockout/tagout procedures required for energized electrical equipment. They also found that the company had exposed workers to potential fall hazards.

“Stanley Black + Decker must reevaluate its safety procedures immediately to protect maintenance workers from electrical and machine hazards before another employee suffers needlessly,” Todd Jensen, OSHA’s Toledo, Ohio, area office director, said in an agency statement. “Each year, hundreds of workers are hurt or worse by electrical-related injuries when employers fail to provide required personal protective equipment and follow safety procedures. Employee safety and health should be every employer’s most important bottom line.”

Stanley Black + Decker is a $14.5 billion global diversified industrial company headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut, according to OSHA, with 56,000 employees in more than 60 countries. The company operates a tools and storage business, whose brands include DeWalt, Stanley, Black+Decker, and Craftsman. The company completed its acquisition of MTD Holdings in December 2021.

Safety council releases geofencing white paper

The National Safety Council (NSC) recently released a white paper exploring the use of location geofencing along with other technologies like proximity sensors, wearables, and vehicle monitoring systems to reduce serious incidents and fatalities (SIFs).

The NSC’s “Work to Zero” initiative released its white paper, “Advancing Workplace Safety with Location Geofencing,” to shed light on the potential of location geofencing to reduce the risk of SIFs in work activities that include construction, vehicle-pedestrian interaction, and heavy equipment operation.

“Workers on active job sites are often exposed to situations that pose a high risk for SIFs,” John Dony, vice president of workplace strategy at the NSC, said in a statement. “Acknowledging how this is a major concern for workers across many industries, this report provides invaluable insights into leveraging location geofencing technology to mitigate risks and help ensure employee wellbeing, which is the ultimate goal of the Work to Zero initiative."

According to the NSC, key benefits identified in the report include the following:

  • Risk mitigation: The technology serves as an effective risk mitigation tool, alerting workers and supervisors of potential hazards, improving situational awareness, and enabling two-way communication for workers.
  • Enhanced worksite visibility: Geofencing increases worksite visibility, enabling data-informed decisions for site planning and safety measures.
  • Improved efficiency: The automation of safety processes reduces the need for continuous human supervision, optimizing resource allocation and safety management.
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