OSHA Finds Inadequate Training Contributed to Worker Death

Source: PSNH - Flickr

Springfield, NH – An investigation by OSHA at a biomass plant determined that 25 safety violations contributed to the death a 23-year old employee who was killed when he was “pulled into a conveyor” during a work shift on November 27, 2017.

According to a report on the incident in the Valley News, the employee, Dakota (Koty) LaBrecque, of Louden, N.H., had been on the job only a couple weeks.

Springfield Power received the maximum penalty under OSHA guidelines of $125,460 for a slew of safety violations that agency inspectors uncovered.

These included:

  • Conveyor and other machinery lacked required safety guarding and employees were not trained in lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from intentionally starting;
  • Workers were not issued locks to place on the machines they worked on;
  • Fall hazards, electric shock and arc flash hazards; and
  • A lack of adequate emergency evacuation, fire prevention, and hazardous energy control programs.

According to the report, Springfield Power, along with a sister biomass plant in Whitefield, N.H., is owned by Mount Laurel, N.J.-based EWP Renewable Corp., an affiliate of the Ulsan, South Korea-based Korea East-West Power Co.

EWP also owns a biomass plant and two natural gas-fired power plants in California.