"One of the best decisions I had ever made"
- Joseph Lugo
Norberto Galicia Romero, 49, died after becoming trapped in a concrete silo in Marietta, Georgia.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (2.18.15), he died after getting trapped in a concrete silo at Thomas Concrete Woodstock plant. He was one of two workers doing repair work inside the silo when he lost his footing. He was immediately buried by hundreds of pounds of gravel.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating his death
In only takes seconds for silos filled with gravel, grain, sand or other materials to become death traps when the contents spill out in a rush, suffocating or crushing the victims. Workers also die by falling into a silo’s contents and getting pulled down to the bottom of the bin as if they were in quicksand. These deaths can be prevented if both employers and workers follow proper safety procedures.
Recommended precautions are outlined in grain-handling measures issued by OSHA. Every time a worker goes enters a grain bin, machinery that helps move or empty the grain should be turned off. The worker should wear a body harness with a lifeline long enough to prevent him or her from sinking further than waist-deep in grain. This way it is possible to pull the worker to safety. An observer, equipped to provide assistance and perform rescue operations, should stand outside the bin ready to help if needed. Workers should also be trained for the specific hazardous work tasks they are to perform when inside the bins.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. This goes for workers in any job, from farming to construction. The deaths of workers who are entrapped and-or suffocated by collapsing material are preventable.
If a worker believes working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, he or she should bring the hazardous conditions to the employer’s attention, as possible. A worker may file a complaint with OSHA concerning a hazardous working condition at any time. OSHA standards also require employers to protect their employees from hazards. Examples of these requirements include providing fall protection, such as a safety harness; preventing trenching cave-ins; ensuring the safety of workers who enter confined spaces such as manholes or grain bins; and the prevention of hearing damage from exposure to high levels of noise.
Workers’ compensation laws in New York provide protection for workers who are hurt on the job. An experienced lawyer can help obtain compensation for injuries and losses and ensure an injured worker, or his or her family, gets needed help.
The AJC News story cited is “Body of worker trapped in Cobb concrete plant recovered.”