COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – A worker in Colorado Springs almost lost their life while performing routine maintenance work earlier this year — and their employer has been found responsible for that near-tragedy.
In March, the employee was inside a cement mixer when their coworker turned the machine on. The worker was able to escape before suffering serious, if not fatal, injuries.
The US Department of Labor says Springs-based company Lindsay Precast Inc. “willfully” exposed that employee to what could have been a fatal situation.
“A US Department of Labor investigation determined the company’s failure to comply with federal workplace safety standards nearly cost the worker their life,” the department announced Monday.
The Department of Labor says inspectors with its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) learned through the course of its investigation that 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.
“Our investigation found Lindsay Precast Inc. It was well-aware that they were required to ensure employees used hazardous energy control procedures, yet they failed to implement them,” said OSHA Area Director Chad Vivian in Englewood, Colorado. “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 .”
The company has been issued one willful 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. It was also cited for several other offenses:
– Not training workers on permit-required confined space hazards and the safety procedures for entering those 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.
– Not trained affected employees on the proper procedures for powering on and off devices requiring lockout/tagout devices.
This is not the company’s first time penalized for workplaces; it was previously cited in 2019 for respiratory protection and electrical violation and in 2017 for machine guarding violations when an employee did suffer injuries.
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