A 26-year-old employee of Gehring Construction & Ready Mix Concrete Inc. was killed April 11 when he was struck in the head by a metal tow rope connection while operating a front-end loader.
OSHA ruled the tragedy could have been avoided had Gehring Construction implemented procedures to protect the worker from struck-by hazards.
"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."
OSHA issued two serious and one other-than-serious safety violations and assessed a fine of $14,630. The company was cites for failing to provide a workplace free of hazards; failing to properly train employees in towing methods, connecting techniques and the usage of appropriate towing components; and not notifying OSHA of the employee’s death within eight hours.
The employee was killed after a metal tow rope connection went through the window of the cab of the front-end loader. The front-end loader had been trying to tow a concrete truck stuck in the sand using a tow rope and chain when a link on the chain failed, causing the tow rope to snap back and the connection to strike the window.