Grand Island waste disposal company cited after worker falls into baler and dies

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A Grand Island waste management company has been cited after a worker suffered severe injuries when he fell into a baler and died.

In February, a 20-year-old was working to clear a jam in an industrial cardboard baler when he fell in and got caught in the machine.

He suffered severe amputation injuries and died at a local hospital the next day, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration accused Mid-Nebraska Disposal Inc. of disregarding federal regulations that would prevent such tragedies.

OSHA cited the company for 18 violations involving machine safety, permit-required confined space safety requirements, training and fall hazards.

The agency also proposed penalties of $337,903 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, the press release says.

“A 20-year-old’s life was cut short needlessly; he was on the job for just nine months. Employers are legally obligated to safeguard dangerous machinery and use required safety procedures for entering confined spaces,” OSHA Area Director Matt Thurlby said in a press release. “Employers must follow all safety precautions and train workers to de-energize and lock out a machine before clearing jams or providing service or maintenance to prevent serious or fatal injuries.”

Federal officials say the company has 15 business days from receiving its citations and penalties to comply.

The business will then need to request an informal conference with Thurlby or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Categories: Nebraska News, News