Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where Was The Fall Protection?

Fall To Worker's Death
The article below was posted in the Mobile Register on March 18, 2009 by Jillian Kramer, Staff Reporter.

My question concerning this fatality is "Where Was The Fall Protection" to prevent this useless death?

The McDuffie Coal Treminal is a State Run facility as part of the Alabama State Docks. Therefore, readers may note that there is no reference to an OSHA investigation in this incident. Sometimes the governmental safety programs just plain do not make Horse Sense and the safety programs do not measure up to OSHA's.

McDuffie Worker Killed in Accident
Larry D. George dies after fall into hopper leaves him partially buried in pile of coal.

A McDuffie Coal Terminal worker died Tuesday morning after falling into a pile of coal and being partially buried, officials said.

Larry D. George, 53, slipped inside a hopper--an underground coal storage area 100 feet deep--as he was working to repair a piece of equipment at the Alama State Docks facility, according to authorities. Residual coal inside the hopper collapsed, covering George, Alabama Port Authority spokeswoman Judy Adams said.

A rail dump, which pours coal into the storage area, was not in operation at the time, Adams said.

Mobile Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Steve Huffman said that as George lay there and his fellow workers tried to remove the coal from atop his body, he went into cardiac arrest.

By the eime paramedics arrived, the workers had uncovered George, Huffman said. Emergency crews performed CPR then lifted the man from the hopper and into an ambulance.

He was taken to Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Huffman said.

George had been a millwright for the McDuffie maintenance department since January 2006, Adams said.

James Lyons, the Port Authority's director and chief executive officer, said in a written statement, "We are all shaken by today's tragic accident that claimed the life of a valued employee. Our prayers and condolences are with the George family and our workers."

Lyons ordered work stopped at McDuffie until 7 a.m. today, Adams said as a safety precaution.

The incident, she said, remains under investigation by Port Authority police.

Police Chief Jimmie Flanagan declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

McDuffie is the largest coal import operation in the U.S. More than 18.5 million tons of coal passed through the terminal in the most recent fiscal year.

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