Stratford company fined $36,400 following welder's death - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stratford company fined $36,400 following welder's death

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STRATFORD (WAOW) - The company where a 26-year-old welder died after suffocating inside a tank being built was fined $36,400 for three safety violations, a spokesman for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday.

Nicholas Smith, 23, of Marshfield died Dec. 14 during an early-morning shift at A&B Process Systems in Stratford.

OSHA determined Smith had been welding lift lugs on the outside of stainless steel tanks. He entered a tank to remove something used the process and was asphyxiated "due to lack of oxygen displaced by the argon gas."

A&B paid fines related to three serious workplace safety violations involving ventilation and safety harnesses, OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said.

OSHA initially fined the company $43,500 but settlement negotiations reached the lower figure, he said.

A&B designs, builds and installs stainless steel process systems, including tanks and vessels, used in a variety of industries, according to its web site.

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