Colorado Springs-based Lindsay Precast Inc. has been fined more than $200,000 after an incident in which a cement mixer was turned on with a worker inside it.
The U.S. Department of Labor found the concrete manufacturing company “willfully exposed” the worker to serious injury in the March 2 incident, which was one among several serious failures.
The worker, who was doing maintenance inside the cement mixer, “narrowly escaped fatal injuries when a coworker turned the machine on,” a DOL news release said.
Inspectors with DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Lindsay Precast knew of federal workplace safety requirements, yet failed to implement them.
“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,” OSHA Area Director Chad Vivian said in the release.
OSHA inspectors found Lindsay Precast Inc. knew that federal law required the company to train workers on lockout/tagout and confined space entry procedures before maintenance on the mixer began. Following the March 2 incident, OSHA issued one citation for exposing workers to potential hazards by not developing and using procedures to control hazardous energy and not training employees on the related dangers.
OSHA also issued serious citations for other failures by the company, including:
not training workers on permit-required confined space hazards and the safety procedures for entering these spaces;
failing to train workers on fall hazards and provide fall protection in elevated areas on and around the concrete mixer;
failing to periodically inspect their hazardous energy control procedures; and
not training affected employees on the proper procedures for powering on and off devices requiring lockout/tagout devices.
The citations and proposed penalties total $203,035. The company received citations for machine guarding violations following a worker’s injury in 2017, and for respiratory protection and electrical violations in 2019.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Lindsay Precast Inc. also has operations in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. According to DOL, it is a supplier of burial vaults and other concrete products for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.