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Incident at Mersen plant serves as reminder of the importance of training

Training is especially important in manufacturing settings.

Training is especially important in manufacturing settings.

The Associated Press is reporting that Federal safety officials recently offered more information concerning  the explosion at a Mersen USA plant in Pennsylvania, which resulted in one employee fatality and two injuries. The incident occurred on January 30, 2014 at St. Mary's, 100 miles from Pittsburgh. 

The explosion killed Arwed Ralf Uecker, the global director of research and development for Mersen USA Bn Group, based out of Boonton, N.J. The explosion also injured a plant supervisor. 

Furthermore, The Post-Gazette reports that the death is the second at the facility in three years. The first death in April 2012 occured when a worker was impaled on a fork lift while stacking storage bins.

Regarding the January 20, 2014 accident, the company initially told the press that it was an "equipment related accident." Noah Nichelson, the general manager of the Mersen plant, said that the explosion was caused by the "incorrect placement of materials in an otherwise safely operating curing oven." 

Now, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is offering more official information into the incident. Authorities report that a worker at the St. Mary's plant incorrectly put flammable materials into an electric oven, which later exploded, killing a visiting employee.

OSHA has proposed that the Mersen plant pay a $7,000 fine.

Asked for comment on Thursday, Nichelson did not return calls or state whether the company will contest the OSHA fine.

The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of training programs and safety protocols, especially in manufacturing settings. In addition, it is likely that, in the wake of the accident, manufacturers will be subject to stricter OSHA scrutiny and standards. Learning management systems can centralize employee training and other important resources, improving organizational safety and compliance. 

To learn more about SyberWorks services or to schedule a product demonstration, please call us at 888-642-7078, email us at info@syberworks.com or register on our site.

SyberWorks, Inc.
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Building 3, Suite 319
Waltham, MA 02452

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