Fatal work injury that killed Tim Cooper, 49, was preventable, OSHA cites Independence Tube

Tim Cooper’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings from OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer Independence Tube.

The 49 year-old was working in October 2015 at the company’s plant in Decatur, Alabama. The initial press reports indicated that Cooper was struck by a 6,000 pound steel coil. I wrote about the incident shortly after it occurred.

OSHA issued citations against Independence Tube for four serious violations. The company paid a $17,290 penalty. The violations included failure to have an effective lockout/tagout program and appropriate guarding of floor openings and machines, as well as the employer’s general duty to provide a safe free of recognized hazards. Just a couple of month's before Cooper's death, Independence Tube was cited by OSHA for similar hazards at its plant in Marseilles, Illinois.

When some local press initially reported Tim Cooper’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, Cooper’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.

More like this

Tim Cooper, 49, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Wednesday, October 28 while working at Independence Tube in Decatur, Alabama. The Decatur-Daily reports: "...Cooper was handling steel coils when one coil, which weighed about 6,000 pounds, fell on him." The coil "...was held on a cart designed…
Terry Leon Lakey’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings from OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Terex Services Corporation. The 51 year-old was working in September 2015 at the firm’s plant in Waco, TX. The initial press accounts indicated…
John Dunnivant’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of federal OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Kia Motors. The 57-year old was working in October 2014 at the company’s plant in West Point, Georgia. The initial press reports indicated…
Elbert C. Woods’ work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of Federal OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Cleveland Track Material. The 45-year-old was working in August 2014 at the company’s Cleveland plant when he was pulled into machinery. I…