Buzzi Unicem USA Challenges OSHA Citations Over Mississippi River Accident

Buzzi Unicem USA Challenges OSHA Citations Over Mississippi River Accident

The company contests claims it failed to provide personal floatation devices or install guardrails.

Buzzi Unicem USA is fighting back against OSHA citations at its facility in Natchez, Mississippi.

In a statement, the cement manufacturer— which operates as River Cement Sales Co.—announced its decision to wholly contest two of the five citations it received on August 11. The OSHA investigation followed a February 2023 incident in which a worker drowned after falling from a barge into the Mississippi River. OSHA proposed $62,500 in penalties, $15,623 per citation.

The contested citations specifically allege Buzzi Unicem USA violated OSHA standards by failing to ensure workers wear personal floatation devices and by not providing guardrails to prevent workers from falling off the dock barge. The other three citations are unrelated to the employee’s death, with violations including a lack of first aid training and no eyewash station.

A rep for Buzzi Unicem USA said via a statement that the company “objects to any characterization by OSHA that the citations are a final determination that the company violated any OSHA regulation or caused the death of [its] employee.” In addition to the two violations Buzzi Unicem USA aims to refute, the company is also contesting elements of the other three.

Notably, Buzzi Unicem USA also has active appeals in three previous OSHA cases.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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