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Concrete company appeals OSHA citations

In March of last year, the Kent Central Gateway transit center construction site was involved in an accident that took a man's life. The construction accident killed one of the employees working for a subcontractor, a concrete company from Akron, Ohio. According to reports, the deceased individual was a 49-year-old male from Barberton, Ohio.

On March 27, the man was walking between the rear of a Caterpillar excavator and a stack of concrete panels. The excavator moved backwards around 11 a.m. and caught the man between the concrete and the equipment. He sustained severe injuries and was rushed to Akron City Hospital where he died later that evening. His employer, Lockhart Concrete Company, received two citations from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on July 11.

Officials with the company chose to appeal those citations and filed their petition to do so on Sept. 20. Both violations were considered serious by OSHA and combined, the penalties totaled nearly $9,000. In addition to fines, the company would have to obey requirements set by OSHA that were designated to avoid such an accident from occurring again.

Those requirements include following the recommendations of the manufacturer of the excavator and designating a safety zone around such equipment, as well as a dedicated signalman. OSHA said that the company would also have to design a new plan for material storage so that materials would not be stored within the swing radius of such machinery. This alone could have saved the 49-year-old man's life.

The two serious violations that Lockhart Concrete is fighting are as follows: The company failed to instruct employees in recognizing and avoiding unsafe conditions as well as make them aware of the regulations they could implement to eliminate unsafe conditions. There was also no established safety zone to prevent employees from entering the swing radius of the excavator.

Source: Kent Patch, "PARTA Subcontractor Appealing Citations Related to Worker's Death," Kasha Legeza, Jan. 2, 2013

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