Aluminum Processing Plant Being Inspected for Accidents

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Recycle Worker was burned and is now Healing

Just a year and a half after a worker was killed at an Aluminum Processing plant. Johnathan Kinslow, a 28- year old Mt. Pleasant man is recovering after he suffered severe burns at the same plant.

On October 10 Johnathan was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center after he suffered severe burns to his back, legs, and his arms at the Tennessee Aluminum Processing plant!His family says that 40 percent of his body was burned. A Vanderbilt spokesperson says that he remained hospitalized and in stable condition.

According to reports that a complete investigation of the accident would not be complete without the a drug test and the results.

“From witness accounts, (the) employee was performing a routine part of his job when for some unknown reason he chose to walk backwards and stumbled into a mold containing recently poured aluminum,” the email stated.

Management of the plant has contacted Johnathan, it is unsure if he will be returning to the plant to continue employment.  According to Jeff Hentschel, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not investigate non-fatal accidents or accidents that result in only one hospitalization.

Another accident that occurred at the TAP was that fatal accident of Keith Frierson. Keith was 43 years old when he lost his footing and fell into an aluminum shredder on April 02, 2012. After a fatal accident at the Tennessee Aluminum Processing Plant occurred, TOSHA then conducted an investigation.

Not much was said about Keith’s accident out of respect for the family. T.A.P. claimed that they have an excellent safety record and are very committed to employee safety.

The Plant facility was inspected by OSHA and as a result of OSHA’s standards, TAP was issued several serious violations with penalties of $10,000.00. Later the amount was reduced to $7,750.00.  TAP met with OSHA to negotiate the violations and forgo a contest of them.

According to reports the citations were no related to Kieth’s death but TAP was fined for $750 after an employee was exposed to burn hazards while standing one foot from molten aluminum. The report did not say if the employee was injured though. Two other citations were related to Kieth’s death though.

TAP got fined $3,500.00 due to Frierson “Working on the shredder line and did not follow proper procedures when working on a narrow ledge.”  The night before Kieth’s death, he was seen standing near the hopper with one foot inside of it while the machine was still running!

Any TAP employee is required to follow the “lock out, tag out” procedure. This is designed to ensure that any energy contained in a system is still eliminated prior to servicing the equipment.

According to April TOSHA Report

“By company rule, the line is supposed to be de-energized and locked out whenever the operator must approach the shredders … . However, actual implementation of the proper lock-out procedures varied from supervisor to supervisor and from shift-to-shift,”

TAP was fined another $3,500.00 for an incident that happened and was inadequately guarded. Employees could access moving teeth of the shredder while working on a narrow ledge and workers could be struck by shredded metal parts that come from the hopper. TAP says that the matter has been corrected as agreed with TOSHA.

Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm

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