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OSHA cites employer after worker fatally electrocuted at H.M. Richards Inc.

March 9, 2015 | By Renée Francoeur

March 9, 2015 – A 46 year-old maintenance worker at H.M. Richards Inc. (Guntown, Miss.) was killed after being electrocuted in October 2014 as he disconnected wiring on a saw.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to the scene after Raymond Marvin Reece was killed and found the furniture upholstery manufacturer violated nine safety standards. H.M. Richards failed “to provide electrical safety training to Reece, as required.” If they had, Reece would have known the equipment he worked with was still “live” and contained enough electricity to kill him, said OSHA.

“Regrettably, a spouse and two children are left without a husband, father and the support he provided to make ends meet because H.M. Richards failed to train or qualify Mr. Reece in the duties he was assigned according to OSHA standards,” said Eugene Stewart, OSHA’s area director in Jackson.

OSHA issued a citation for not marking circuit breakers to indicate what they control in the circuit-breaker box. H.M. Richards had been cited for this same violation in May 2011.


Inspectors also found seven serious violations, including failing to ensure that employees were trained and qualified to perform electrical work; exposing workers to amputations and struck-by hazards by operating dangerous machines without protection; not ensuring the electrical disconnect switch could not be turned back on before performing work; and exposing employees to electrical shock and burns due to unmarked ground conductors. Another violation was cited for allowing damaged wiring on a fan.

The company faces $55,100 in proposed penalties.

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