February 18, 2016 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

Terry Leon Lakey’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings from OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Terex Services Corporation.

The 51 year-old was working in September 2015 at the firm’s plant in Waco, TX. The initial press accounts indicated that Mr. Lakey was “crushed by the hydraulic aerial lift that he was servicing.” I wrote about the incident shortly after it occurred.

Inspectors with federal OSHA conducted an inspection at the plant following the fatal incident. The agency recently issued citations to Terex Services Corporation for three serious violations and proposed a $21,000 penalty.  The violations addressed the company’s ineffective lockout/tagout program. The company is in the process of fixing their program and paying the penalty.

When some local press initially reported Terry Leon Lakey’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, Lakey’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.

 

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