Florida Cable Manufacturer Cited After Fatal Accident Investigation

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a dozen citations and proposed $226,431 in fines following its investigation into the Nov. 29, 2016, death of a 26-year-old machine operator at a Pensacola-area electrical cable manufacturer.

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MILTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a dozen citations and proposed $226,431 in fines following its investigation into the Nov. 29, 2016, death of a 26-year-old machine operator at a Pensacola-area electrical cable manufacturer.

Milton-based Gulf Cable LLC was cited for failing to take measures to protect Jonathan Gilmore, who was pulled into a re-spool machine and crushed as he attempted to guide electrical wiring cable into the machine. OSHA found the machine lacked the required guarding to prevent him from coming into contact with its moving parts.

“Jonathan Gilmore’s death could have been prevented,” said Brian Sturtecky, O­­SHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “Employers have a responsibility to provide safe work environments for their workers regardless of production schedules. When employers fail to use equipment properly and safely, they put employees at risk of serious injury or worse.”

OSHA issued 12 violations to Gulf Cable for one willful, one repeat, seven serious and three other-than-serious safety violations. The willful citation relates to the company’s failure to install guards to prevent machine operators from coming into contact with the cable as it winds onto the spool.

The agency also cited the employer for one repeat violation for failing to develop, document and utilize hazardous energy control procedures to prevent machines from operating while employees performed service and maintenance.

OSHA issued serious citations to Gulf Cable for failing to:

  • Install guardrails on all four sides of machinery in the pit area, exposing workers to trip and fall hazards.
  • Repair or replace cut electrical wiring for the emergency-stop foot pedal, exposing workers to electrical shock and electrocution hazards.

Gulf Cable employs 110 workers at its facility, often running two separate 12-hour shifts with approximately 50 employees on each shift working seven days per week.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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