PROVIDENCE, RI – A federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that a Smithfield company could have prevented a worker from suffering fatal head injuries while the worker repaired a cement truck on Oct. 21, 2021.
OSHA determined that, as the worker installed a fabricated plate onto the chute into the drum on the cement truck, the drum began to turn. The mixing fins inside the drum caught the worker’s head and caused fatal injuries.
The agency found that Greenville Ready Mix Concrete Products Inc. did not establish a lockout/tagout program to prevent the cement truck drum from operating while employees serviced or maintained it, did not train employees in lockout/tagout procedures and did not conduct periodic inspections to ensure proper procedures were followed.
OSHA also found that the company did not evaluate the workplace for permit-required confined spaces, such as inside cement truck drums, failed to provide and ensure that employees used fall protection while working on cement truck platform and exposed workers to both silica dust and rotating drums and augers. Read the citations issued to Greenville Ready Mix Concrete.
The agency issued citations for six serious safety and health violations and proposed $43,506 in penalties.
“This tragedy highlights the dangers of not ensuring lockout/tagout procedures are implemented before workers begin servicing machinery,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Sestito in Providence, Rhode Island. “Complying with OSHA standards is not optional. Employers have an obligation to abate all hazards to protect the safety and health of their workers.”
Since 1991, Greenville Ready Mix Concrete Products Inc. has specialized in ready mix concrete, sand and gravel, colored concrete products and masonry supplies. 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
Learn more about OSHA and working safely in concrete products manufacturing.