The U.S. Department of Labor has revealed the findings of an OSHA investigation that discovered a concrete pipe manufacturer could have prevented an incident at one of its job sites in Florida.
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According to OSHA, in March, two employees of Foley Products Company climbed inside a concrete mixer to remove hardened concrete. But as one of the workers exited the mixer, the machine restarted with the second worker still inside. That 19-year-old worker, whose identity has not been disclosed, was killed.
After OSHA inspectors conducted their investigation, the agency issued citations to the company, including six serious violations and one willful violation. The willful violation came with the heftiest proposed penalty of over $156,000. It pertained to Foley Products Company exposing its workers to caught-in hazards by letting them enter a mixer without ensuring energy-control procedures were followed.
OSHA also deemed that the company endangered its workers by exposing them to confined spaces hazards. They failed to ensure a safe atmosphere inside the mixer before worker entry by not testing for potential toxic air contaminants and neglecting to have an attendant in place for safe retrieval. OSHA also noted a lack of proper training for workers regarding how to disconnect the power supply to the mixer when servicing.
The proposed penalties added up to $245,546. However, Foley Products Company has exercised its right to request an informal conference with OSHA.