The U.S Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited 3M Co. for a fatal incident in May that the agency said could have been prevented.
OSHA cited the company for two violations that it classified as willful and serious, and assessed $312,518 in proposed penalties.
According to OSHA, on May 9 Trisha L. Jones, 57, was killed when she was setting up an extrusion line at 3M's Prairie du Chien, Wis., facility by threading power rollers by hand.
OSHA said the company could have prevented the incident, because it "violated federal regulations for the control of hazardous energy during set-up, servicing and operation of the machine."
OSHA said 3M had assessed the equipment at its U.S. and Canadian plants in May 2022 after a fatality at a 3M facility in Alexandria, Minn., in February 2022.
"The tragedy of another employee's death in Wisconsin is compounded by the fact that the 3M Co. completed a corporatewide review and determined powered rollers were hazards in need of safety improvements," OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan said in a news release.
"The company must address these hazards immediately to protect employees from serious injuries or worse," Donovan said.
OSHA has been investigating the incident since it was reported. According to OSHA, the company allowed workers to go past machine guarding to cut and remove wrapped fibers from rotating powered rollers, exposing them to caught-in hazards.
3M had 15 business days to comply, request an informational conference with OSHA or contest the findings.
In a statement, 3M said the health and safety of employees is its top priority.
"Over the last six months, we have worked closely with federal workplace safety and health regulators in connection with their inspection of our Prairie du Chien worksite," the company said.
"In addition, 3M has continued to implement improvements and investments to help prevent similar incidents in the future, and communicated these improvements to our employees at the work site."
According to the statement, 3M is in the process of evaluating the citation and notification of penalty and "will continue to work with the Department of Labor to address this matter."
Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M has 40 production plants and about 34,000 U.S. employees.