A federal magistrate has sentenced a Rockford-based company for violations of federal safety regulations which led to the death of an employee.
39-year-old Alfredo Arrendondo died after he reportedly became stuck in a conveyer belt at the Behr Iron and Metal Plant in South Beloit while he was conducting maintenance work. Investigators say his arm got caught in the conveyer belt, pulling him into a machine.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnston sentenced the company to 5 years’ probation and ordered it to pay restitution of $350,000 to the victim’s estate. Behr had already paid $520,000 in fines.
Federal officials say that Behr admitted in a plea agreement that the company “failed to provide lockout/tagout protection and confined space protection for employees as required under OSHA regulations for the company’s employees who were cleaning a shredder discharge pit.”
Officials also said in a statement that Behr “admitted that there was no lock or operable emergency shut off switch in the discharge pit for the conveyor belt, and the conveyor belt did not have guards designed to protect employees.” They also say workers were inadequately trained.