Cemex cited for worker’s death

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 1 at 10:56 AM

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville cement plant contract worker falls to his death four floors down an elevator shaft, now the U.S. Department of Labor said the management at Cemex in Kosmosdale acted with extreme negligence. 

 
According to the report, Cemex, Inc. knew about the problem and failed to fix it. That’s why they’re being held responsible for 37-year-old Felipe Mata Vizcaya’s death. 
 
On February 21st, 2014 at 8:30 in the morning, Vizcaya rode an elevator to the 4th floor of the old finish mill at the Kosmos Cement plant on Dixie Highway. According to a report from the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, he was looking for a bucket. 
 
Once he found what he was looking for, he opened the 4th floor hoist way landing door and stepped off, falling 51 feet and hitting the top of the elevator car on the ground floor. Other workers eventually heard noises coming from where Vizcaya had landed and called for help. 
 
Vizcaya lived for about an hour and a half after falling, but rescue workers couldn’t get him stabilized and removed from the elevator shaft. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:36 AM, leaving behind a wife and three children. 
 
The MSHA report states that Cemex knew the doors were defective and needed to be fixed since October 2011. The doors were so worn, they could be opened when the elevator car was on another floor. 
 
The report puts the blame squarely on management at the plant, saying they acted with “aggravated conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence.” It was also noted that management failed to make sure daily workplace inspections were being done to ensure safety.  
 
MSHA issued the citation to Cemex, the company running the operations at the plant. Though the company has been cited, there’s still no word on what penalties they’ll face. For now, the elevator is closed and employees are using the stairs in that building.
 

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