US Department of Labor finds Colorado Springs employer willfully exposed worker to serious injury when cement mixer turned on with worker inside
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – A worker performing maintenance inside a cement mixer at a Colorado Springs concrete manufacturing company narrowly escaped fatal injuries when a co-worker turned the machine on. A U.S. Department of Labor investigation determined the company’s failure to comply with federal workplace safety standards nearly cost the worker their life.
Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned 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, 2022, incident, OSHA 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.
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.
- Not training affected employees on the proper procedures for powering on and off devices requiring lockout/tagout devices.
The citations and proposed penalties totaled $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.
“Our investigation found Lindsay Precast Inc. was well-aware 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.”
Founded in 1961, Lindsay Precast Inc. is a concrete manufacturer specializing in precast concrete products. Based in Colorado Springs, the company also has operations in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. It ships its products throughout the U.S. and is a supplier of burial vaults and other concrete products for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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.