Not an “accident”: Timothy Winding, 50, suffers fatal work-related injury in Claycomo, MO

Timothy Todd Winding, 50, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Tuesday, December 30 while working at Ford Motor Company’s Kansas City assembly plant located in Claycomo, MO. Fox4KC reports:

  • He was part of a crew of contractors who were working to retool the plant for a new line of Ford trucks.
  • While working on a body marriage machine, “a safety rod broke on the decker and crushed the worker.”
  • “Several of the workers FOX 4 spoke to Tuesday say that this is not the first time that machine has broken, and say they were worried something like this was going to happen.”

KCTV5 says Winding’s employer was KCI Incorporated. Beside the seasonal retooling, the Claycomo Ford plant has been engaged over the last couple of years in a $1 billion expansion.

The Metropolis Planet, a local Illinois paper near Winding’s hometown, says he was a millwright and member of the Carpenters Union Local 640.

At the time of the incident, federal OSHA was investigating a complaint received earlier in the month about safety hazards at the plant. I was unable to find any record in OSHA’s on-line data of inspections involving KCI Inc.

Each year, more than 100 workers in Missouri are fatally injured on-the-job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 113 work-related fatal injuries in Missouri during 2013 (preliminary data, most recent available.) Nationwide, at least 4,405 workers suffered fatal traumatic injuries in 2013.

The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:

  • Federal OSHA has 26 inspectors in Missouri to cover more than 147,000 workplaces.
  • The average penalty for a serious OSHA violation in Missouri is $1,931.

Federal OSHA has until the end of June 2015 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole Timothy Todd Winding’s life. It’s likely they’ll determine that Winding’s death was preventable. It was no “accident.”