MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Tuesday 10 serious safety violations to Central Ready Mix LLC.
On Aug. 6, a plant operator was killed while working at the Middletown cement company. He became trapped in a fly-ash storage silo, according to a spokeswoman for OSHA, when he tried to break up clumps of ash with a metal bar and air hose, and proceeded to climb into the silo. He was engulfed by ash and died a few hours later.
“Engulfment is one of the six major hazards present in silo-type storage facilities. Employers can’t be assured that entries into a silo without incident will occur,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “This was a terrible, preventable tragedy that underscores the importance of complying with safety precautions, such as using harnesses and lanyards. Employers are responsible for identifying hazards and ensuring workers follow proper procedures to prevent injury or death.”
The violations OSHA found pertain to proper evaluation of the workplace, using signs, security, providing equipment and training, issuing permits, emergency response procedures and workplace safety precautions.
The violations are considered serious when there is a potential for death or serious physical harm, and when the employer should have known about and corrected the hazards, the spokeswoman reported.
Fines charged against Central Ready Mix reached $55,000. The company must pay or contest the the fine within 15 days of the citation. If it fails to meet that requirement, it must abate the cited conditions and pay the total fee.
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