Adams Thermal Systems Inc. has entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pay more than $1.33 million to resolve criminal penalties and OSHA fines levied as a result of the death of a worker on Nov. 7, 2011, in the company’s Canton plant.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the Deferred Prosecution Agreement on Sept. 5, 2013, and has asked that it be approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will pay the worker’s surviving spouse $450,000, a criminal fine of $450,000 and the full OSHA fine of $435,000stemming from the regulatory violations that caused the fatality and additional violations discovered in subsequent inspections.
OSHA’s investigation found the worker was fatally crushed in a machine used to make radiator cores, after management instructed and authorized workers to bypass the manufacturer’s barrier guard in order to adjust the machine to keep it running. OSHA also conducted two concurrent safety and health investigations at the company in February 2012, which resulted in 66 violations.
“Adams Thermal failed to provide a safe workplace, and those conditions ultimately took the life of a worker. There is no excuse for an employer to compromise safety to keep production running,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “The Department of Labor has worked diligently with the Office of the United States Attorney for South Dakota to resolve this case and provide justice to the family of this worker. No one should ever lose their life for a job.”