Not an “accident”: Albert James Speed, 25 suffers fatal work-related injury in McCalla, AL

Albert James Speed, 25, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Friday, March 4 while working at Gestamp in McCalla, Alabama. reports:

“…a large piece of equipment fell on the victim.”'s story was updated:

The victim “...was using a [remote-controlled] crane to move parts.”

“He became pinned between two large pieces of equipment.”

Gestamp is an engineering and manufacturing firm that supplies parts to automakers. It has eight plants in the USA. Just last week it was named General Motors Supplier of the Year.

The company’s plant in McCalla has been the subject of four OSHA inspections since November 2013. All of the inspections were the result of complaints.

  • In March 2014, OSHA proposed a $13,800 penalty for serious safety violations, including those related to a gantry crane. Through an informal settlement, two of the violations were deleted and the company paid a $4,250 penalty.
  • In December 2014, OSHA issued citations for two serious violations and proposed a $9,550 penalty. One of the violations, which was related to lockout/tagout, was vacated by an administrative law judge. The company paid a $1,000 penalty for an electrical wiring violation.
  • In February 2015, OSHA issued citations for two serious violations releated to powered industrial trucks (e.g., forklifts.) Through an informal settlement, one of the violations was deleted. The company paid a $1,530 penalty.

The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:

  • Federal OSHA has 25 inspectors in Alabama to cover more than 97,000 workplaces. With that number of inspectors, it would take 111 years for OSHA to inspect each workplace in the State just once.
  • The average penalty for a serious violation in Alabama is $2,016.
  • The median penalty amount for a work-related fatality occurring in Alabama is $3,300.

Federal OSHA has until mid-September 2016 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole the life of Albert James Speed. It’s likely OSHA will determine that his death was preventable. It was no “accident.”

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