OSHA rules on fatality involving powered mixer drum work

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

OSHA has proposed $43,500 in penalties after determining that a Northeast ready mixed concrete producer could have prevented a worker from suffering fatal injuries during an October 2021 mixer truck repair. As the worker attempted to secure a fabricated plate near the discharge chute, the mixer drum began to turn and the fins caught the worker’s head. 

The agency issued citations for six serious safety and health violations. It found the producer failed to establish a lockout/tagout program to prevent the drum from operating while employees serviced or maintained it; train employees in lockout/tagout procedures; and, 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 mixer truck drums; failed to provide and ensure that employees used fall protection while working on a mixer truck platform; and, exposed workers to silica dust, along with rotating drums and augers.  

“This tragedy highlights the dangers of not ensuring lockout/tagout procedures are implemented before workers begin servicing machinery,” says OSHA Area Director Robert Sestito in Providence, R.I. “Complying with OSHA standards is not optional. Employers have an obligation to abate all hazards to protect the safety and health of their workers.”