GRAND FORKS – Federal safety regulators plan to fine LM Wind Power’s Grand Forks plant $92,000 after completing their investigation into the death of a worker in July.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is alleging five violations, including one of willful negligence, according to Eric Brooks, the assistant director for the agency’s North and South Dakota operations.
By willful, he said, OSHA means that the employer knew of the potential hazard, knew of regulations to protect workers and knew they weren’t being followed, but did nothing.
Three other violations are deemed “serious,” he said, meaning they could lead to serious injury or death.
LM Wind Power now has 15 business days, about three weeks, to respond, which may include accepting the allegations, contesting them or seeking a conference with OSHA. Such conferences can result in reduced penalties or violations rescinded, among other things.
Brooks emphasized that any such discussion would not compromise on worker safety. “That won’t be negotiated.” LM, he said, has been cooperating with OSHA and problems that led to the accident have been or are being addressed.
The Grand Forks Herald called the Grand Forks plant of LM, a Denmark-based maker of wind turbine blades, but no one answered and a message left was not returned.
OSHA’s investigation came after Joseph Francis Schaff, 42, East Grand Forks, was pinned between two pieces of heavy machinery and, subsequently, died of his injuries.
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