CANTONMENT, FL – A Georgia-based concrete pipe manufacturer could have prevented a 19-year-old worker from suffering fatal injuries after a concrete mixer restarted while the teen tried to clean the machine’s inside in Cantonment in March 2023.An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined two employees of Foley Products Company LLC climbed inside the mixer initially to use a hammer and chisel to chip away hardened concrete. As one of the workers left the mixer, the machine restarted with the other inside. OSHA inspectors cited the company for willfully exposing workers to crushed-by hazards by allowing them to enter the mixer without making sure to first follow energy-control procedures. The agency also found the company exposed workers to confined spaces hazards by not making sure a safe atmosphere existed inside the mixer before the workers entered and by failing to have an attendant ready to retrieve workers safely. OSHA also determined the company did not make certain workers were trained and that they understood the safe application and removal of energy controls before servicing machines. Foley Products Company received one willful violation and six serious violations. The company 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.” Headquartered in Newnan, Georgia, the precast concrete manufacturer had 30 workers at the Florida job site at the time of the incident. The company employs about 500 workers, serving numerous agencies and municipalities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA – as Foley Products Company has done – or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.
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