EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of Puritan Ice Company – Decision after reconsideration

Employer was cited for a serious, accident-related violation of section 4556 [railing for ice breaker/crusher] after an accident investigation where an employee was injured after falling into an ice-crusher machine he was attempting to clear from a jam. The board reversed the ALJ's determination that the division failed to establish that section 4556 was the applicable safety order and that it would have been more appropriate to cite employer for a violation of section 3314(a) [de-energizing equipment/machinery]. The board held that while section 3314(a) could have applied, section 4556 also applied to the circumstances because the employee’s attempt to unjam the machine involved the continued operation of the machine. The evidence established that the employee followed a procedure known and accepted by employer in spite of employer's testimony to the contrary. The violation was upheld and properly classified as serious. However, the board found that the division failed to prove that the violation was accident-related since the evidence did not establish that the employee’s fall into the machine's point of operation would have been prevented by a standard railing. The penalty was reduced to allow credits and adjustments which were not previously applied due to the accident-related characterization of the serious violation.

Puritan Ice Company, 01-3893 (MS Word)
Puritan Ice Company, 01-3893 (Adobe Acrobat)
December 4, 2003