A Stratford manufacturer will pay $34,404 in fines following the December death of a worker at the facility, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A&B Process Systems was initially fined $43,458 by OSHA, but negotiated a settlement for the lower amount, according to online investigation records.
Nicholas Smith, 26, of Marshfield died Dec. 14 while working at the plant, police said.
The OSHA report reads:
At approximately 1 a.m. on December 14, 2016, an employee had been welding lift lugs onto the outside of stainless steel tanks. Small metal bladders were placed on the inside surface of the tank where the employee was welding. The metal bladders were supplied with argon and used to purge oxygen from the inside surface of the weld area to eliminate oxidation of the metal during welding outside the tank. It is believed the employee entered the tank to remove the metal bladders and was asphyxiated due to lack of oxygen displaced by the argon gas.
The OSHA investigation resulted in five violations, four of which were characterized as “serious.” None of the violations were described as “willful,” according to the report.
A&B Process system specializes in design, fabrication and installation of stainless steel process tanks and vessels, process piping, process modules and skidded systems for a variety of industries.
OSHA, which investigates all worker deaths, aims to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance, according to their website.