OSHA cites concrete plant after fatal accident

News Date: 
February 04, 2013
Springfield News-Sun

By Mark McGregor
Staff Writer
SPRINGFIELD — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued two serious violation citations and proposed a combined penalty of $15,200 to the Springfield concrete plant where an off-duty worker sustained fatal injuries.

Matthew Clay, 25, of Pleasant Twp., was injured Oct. 5 when his head was crushed between the plant wall and concrete blocks at the Springfield Concrete Block and Brick Inc. plant, 1100 Mitchell Blvd. He died Oct. 17 from accidental blunt force head trauma, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

One of the citation items — obtained by the Springfield News-Sun through a Freedom of Information Act request — indicates Springfield Concrete Block and Brick didn’t have proper safeguards to protect workers from injury where concrete blocks are rolled on a conveyor from inside the plant to the outside.

“On or about Oct. 5, 2012, a laborer was exposed to pinch point hazards when attempting to enter or look into the building where cubes of block on a conveyor are pushed out of the building through a wall opening by the cuber machine,” the citation reads.

Business owner Robert Anderson couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. He said at the scene that the company had never had an accident that serious since he started there in 1967.

Other citation items issued to the company last month include:
• A mixing operator was exposed to potentially falling into the the concrete mixing tank when adding water because of a single guardrail in place that was 24 inches high; was exposed to rotating mixing blades due to inadequate guarding in place where dry product and water are added; and other employees were exposed to a more than nine-foot fall hazard due to only a single 35-inch high guardrail in use along a walkway.
• The employer had no written energy control program in place with the proper procedures to be followed during maintenance, cleaning and other services; didn’t ensure that each forklift operator was competent to operate them safely; didn’t administer a continuing, effective hearing conservation program; didn’t provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals; and didn’t establish and implement a written hazard communication program.
OSHA requested that the company address the concrete mixing tank guardrail issues by Jan. 29 but the report doesn’t indicate if the issue has been corrected. The chemical training was to be corrected by Feb. 19 and all other issues by March 12.

According to Bill Wilkerson, area director for OSHA’s Cincinnati office, the company has 15 working days to meet with OSHA officials in an informal conference to discuss resolving the issues, accept the citations as proposed or appeal the proposed citations in court.

The full report is not a public document until the appeal process is completed, Wilkerson said.