The tragic death of a Florida teen who was killed inside a cement mixer could have been prevented, but the U.S. Department of Labor said the company he worked for failed to comply with basic safety protocols that could have kept the tragedy from happening.
The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an investigation into Foley Products Company, a Georgia-based concrete manufacturer, after the incident.
Based on the investigation, two workers climbed inside a cement mixer to chisel off hardened concrete at their job site in Cantonment, Florida. When one of the workers got out of the mixer, the machine restarted with the 19-year-old worker inside, ultimately resulting in fatal injuries.
OSHA said the company willfully exposed the workers to deadly hazards by allowing them to get into the mixer without following energy-control procedures and by not having an attendant ready to retrieve the workers safely.
Inspectors also said the company did not make sure certain employees were properly trained and understood the use of energy controls before servicing the machines.
Foley Products Company received six serious violations and faces $245,546 in proposed penalties.
“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 A. Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama. “This preventable tragedy should serve as a reminder of the importance of complying with safety and health standards, as required by law.”
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