The death of a 19-year-old Florida worker could have been prevented if a concrete pipe maker had ensured that employees followed proper safety procedures, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said.
OSHA cited Foley Products Co., based in Georgia, with one willful violation and six serious violations after the March fatality near Pensacola. The company now faces $246,000 in penalties but it has requested a conference with OSHA on the tragedy, OSHA officials said in a statement this week.
“Foley Products Company’s failure to implement well-known safeguards cost the life of a worker just beginning their adulthood,” said OSHA Area Office Director Jose Gonzalez. “This preventable tragedy should serve as a reminder of the importance of complying with safety and health standards, as required by law.”
OSHA investigators determined that two workers had climbed inside a concrete mixer to chisel off hardened concrete. When one of them climbed out, the mixer started up, killing the employee left inside. His name was not released.
The administration said that Foley Products failed to ensure that workers were trained in and understood how to disconnect the power supply to the mixer before working on it, often known as “lock-out, tag-out” procedures. The company also failed to have an attendant ready to retrieve workers inside the mixer.
Foley, with headquarters in Newnan, Georgia, has about 500 workers in four Southern states, OSHA said.
The Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims shows no contested workers’ compensation claims against Foley Products.
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