OSHA Cites Gehring Construction in Death of Heavy Equipment Operator

Proposed penalties are 14K

OSHA has issued two serious and one other-than-serious safety violation after an investigation into the death of an employee of Gehring Construction & Ready Mix Concrete Inc. of Columbus, Nebraska.

The employee was killed after being struck in the head by a metal tow rope connection while operating a front-end loader.

The investigation found that the front end loader was attempting to tow a concrete truck that had become struck in the sand. The front loader was connected to the concrete mixer truck by a tow rope and chain. A link on the chain failed, causing the tow rope to snap back and the metal tow rope connection went through the window of the cab striking the employee. A serious violation was issued for failing to provide a workplace free of hazards.

The second serious violation was given for not notifying OSHA of the death of the employee within eight hours following a work-related incident.

"This was tragic and preventable death that has forever altered the lives of this employee's wife and three children," said Darwin Craig, OSHA's Acting Area Director in Omaha. "No worker should fail to return home at the end of the day. Employers must review their operating and training procedures to ensure that safety is the first priority on the job site."

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