September 1, 2015 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

Norberto Galicia Romero’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of federal OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Thomas Concrete.

The 49-year-old was working in February 2015 at the company’s plant in Marietta, GA. The initial press reports indicated that “someone was trapped inside a concrete silo.” I wrote about the incident shortly after it was reported by local press.

Inspectors with federal OSHA conducted an inspection at the workplace following the fatal incident. The agency recently issued citations to the firm for two serious violations and proposed a $12,600 penalty. Thomas Concrete was cited for violating numerous provisions of OSHA’s confined space standard.

When some local press initially reported Norberto Galicia Romero’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, Romero’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.

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