JOPLIN, Mo. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited utility company Missouri American Water for two willful safety violations following the May 16, 2012, death of a worker. The worker suffered fatal injuries when a gas-powered saw kicked back while he and another employee were cutting sections of old cast-iron pipe. The work was part of efforts to reroute underground water lines in a residential neighborhood being rebuilt following the EF5 tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011.
“Employers such as Missouri American Water have a responsibility to take all necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace and to ensure that workers are given the proper equipment, tools and training to conduct required tasks,” said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. “It is tragic that an employee lost his life while performing valuable work to rebuild this devastated community.”