A concrete plant in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for numerous violations involving crushing and other hazards related to the death of a worker in September 2019.
Employee Moutasem Yousef, 24, suffered fatal injuries after the forklift he was using to life and move a 3,2000-pound bag of cement overturned due to an unstable load.
High Quality Concrete faces proposed penalties of $90,217 for the cited violations, some ranked as “willful.”
OSHA cited High Quality Concrete for not training forklift operators on how to properly lift and transport loads, and failing to ensure that operators knew how to handle stable loads and wore seatbelts while operating forklifts.
“Following the fatality, OSHA inspectors returned to the factory three times and found that High Quality Concrete continually failed to ensure that employees handled stable or safely arranged loads, resulting in the willful violation,” the OSHA press release states.
OSHA issued an additional citation for the employer’s failure to report the employee fatality within 8 hours.
"Proper training on the safe use of a forklift could have prevented this tragedy," said OSHA Puerto Rico Area Director Alfredo Nogueras. "Identifying hazards and implementing best practices during the load handling process can protect workers from serious and fatal injuries."
High Quality Concrete has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.