OSHA fines manufacturer $683,000 for multiple violations

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a Memphis-based manufacturer a total of $683,000 for violations of multiple rules in a case in which a worker was killed.

OSHA Jan. 25 issued 128 separate citations against Mueller Industries Inc. for health and safety violations at its Mueller Copper Tube Co. subsidiary located in Fulton, Miss.

The OSHA investigation of Mueller began in July 2009 after a maintenance worker was killed there and two other workers injured when naphtha, a flammable liquid, leaked from an electric pump and ignited.

The violations include failure to repair a corroded live electrical connection, which exposed workers to electrical shock, a lack of machine guards and other unsafe electrical equipment and practices. Mueller was also cited for unsafe handling of hazardous substances.

The investigation expanded beyond Mueller Copper Tube to two other Mueller subsidiaries where more of what OSHA categorized as “willful, repeat and serious” violations were found.

Mueller Industries has 15 days from the date of the citations to respond. A representative of the company did not return a phone call seeking comment.