The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited an equipment manufacturer for workplace hazards following a 29-year-old suffering severe burns during an electrical arc blast at a company facility in Willard.

An arc flash occurs when an electric current travels through the air from one conductor to another, or to the ground. These flashes can produce temperatures over 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause serious injury and even death for people nearby.

In response to the employer's report of the worker's hospitalization, OSHA opened an inspection at MTD Products Inc. — operating as Stanley Black + Decker — on Dec. 20, 2023, and identified several safety issues. Agency investigators found the company failed to provide personal protective equipment as required when employees were working around energized electrical equipment. The blast occurred while the electrician replaced fuses to repair an industrial oven.

OSHA determined Stanley Black + Decker lacked safe work practices and training for electrical maintenance employees and for the use of required lockout/tagout procedures for energized electrical equipment. They also found the company exposed workers to potential fall hazards. OSHA cited Stanley Black + Decker for one willful violation and four serious violations.