Quarryville foundry ordered to pay $19,000 fine after fatal sand mixer accident
RYAN ROBINSON | Staff Writer
A Quarryville foundry where a mechanic died in a sand mixer accident in February has been cited with safety violations and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in penalties.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration charged Buck Co., 897 Lancaster Pike, Providence Township, with several “serious” violations on July 29, according to a citation. OSHA ordered the company to fix the issues and pay $30,000 in penalties. The fine was lowered to $19,000 in an informal settlement agreement Aug. 19.
Company President Matt Sullivan did not immediately return a phone call for comment Wednesday.
Fred Poston Jr., 56, of Washington Boro, was doing maintenance work inside a sand mixer on Feb. 8 when it somehow activated and fatally injured him, Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said.
Poston’s leg was caught inside the molding machine, Rawlinsville Fire Chief Carl Strickler Jr. said at the time.
Poston was “exposed to moving machine parts when the hazardous energy sources associated with the Ductile Muller were not controlled after a lock-out device was removed in order to test or position internal parts,” OSHA said in the citation.
“The company failed to identify and evaluate the batch hopper air supply as an energy source required to be controlled.”
A Lancaster EMS medic unit stationed at the foundry provided advanced life support care. Firefighters freed Poston from the equipment and he was taken to Lancaster General Hospital, where he died.
Coroner: Mechanic death in sand mixer at Quarryville foundry was accident
RYAN ROBINSON | Staff Writer
Feb 12, 2016
Fred Poston Jr. died from multiple traumatic injuries and his death was ruled accidental after an autopsy on Feb. 11, Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said Feb. 12.
Authorities have identified the man who was working inside a molding machine at a Quarryville foundry Monday when it somehow turned on and fatally injured him.
Fred Poston Jr., of Washington Boro, was doing maintenance work inside a sand mixer at the Buck Company at 897 Lancaster Pike in Providence Township at 1:21 p.m., according to county Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni.
“It activated or turned on while he was within the mixer,” Diamantoni said. “We are still sorting out the specifics (of how it happened.) There is no indication of foul play. It appears by all accounts to be accidental.”
Diamontoni described Poston as being in his “mid-50s.”
Poston’s leg was caught inside a molding machine, Rawlinsville Fire Chief Carl Strickler Jr. said.
A Lancaster EMS medic unit stationed at the foundry responded immediately and provided advanced life support care, Lancaster EMS’s Bob May said.
State police assisted, but provided no details of the incident Tuesday.
Firefighters freed Poston from the equipment at 1:34 p.m., Strickler said.
May said Poston was transported to Lancaster General Hospital, but died. An autopsy initially set for Wednesday was rescheduled.
Feds probe death
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated at the scene Monday after being called by Buck Company, OSHA spokeswoman Leni Fortson said.
“We want to see what may have been the cause of the tragic accident and if any OSHA standards were violated,” she said. OSHA by law has up to six months to complete investigations, but often wraps them up more quickly.
Buck Company President Matt Sullivan released the following email statement:
“An accident occurred at our facility on (Monday.) Since the matter is part of an ongoing investigation, the company is not at liberty to provide details about the incident or the investigation.
“Our major focus at this time is on the family, friends and co-workers of our employee involved in the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this difficult time.
“We want to thank all of the local emergency service providers that responded to assist us.”
In 1951, Dixon Valve & Coupling Company purchased a small ferrous foundry in Quarryville, according to the Buck Company website. Buck Iron, as it was then known, produced only malleable iron until 1953 when a non-ferrous foundry was added to produce aluminum, brass and bronze marine hardware.
Buck Company has grown to 220,000 square feet and 375 employees.