A worker was inside a cement mixer at a concrete plant when a colleague turned it on, federal officials said. Now the Colorado-based company is accused of not following federal workplace safety standards after the worker faced potentially fatal injuries. The worker for Lindsay Precast Inc. was doing maintenance inside a mixer on March 2 in Colorado Springs, the U.S. Department of Labor said in an Aug. 29 news release.
While the employee was inside the machine, a co-worker turned it on, officials said, and the worker narrowly escaped fatal injuries, officials said in the release. Lindsay Precast Inc. did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment on Monday, Aug. 29.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for “exposing workers to potential hazards by not developing and using procedures to control hazardous energy and not training employees on the related dangers.” In addition to this citation, the company was cited for not training workers on safety procedures in confined spaces, fall hazards in areas around the cement mixer and procedures for powering devices either on or off that require “lockout/tagout devices,” the release states. In total, Lindsay Precast Inc. faces $203,035 in citations and penalties.
“By sheer good fortune, a worker narrowly avoided much more serious, and potentially, fatal injuries, in an incident that would have never happened if the employer had followed federal requirements to de-energize and lockout the mixer to prevent the machine’s start-up,” said Chad Vivian, the area director for OSHA’s Englewood, Colorado, office. Lindsay Precast Inc. can comply, contest OSHA’s findings or request an informal conference with the director within 15 days of the issued citations and penalties.