A tense rescue scene played out at a concrete yard in Holden, Massachusetts, when an employee of the plant became trapped in a 50-foot silo containing cement powder. It was not reported exactly how the man became trapped, but he was buried up to his chest in cement powder when he was found by rescue personnel. The injured worker was stabilized and given oxygen and was then safely raised by special equipment to the top of the silo.
The injured worker was taken via helicopter to the UMass Memorial Medical Center. The exact nature of the man's injuries was not disclosed, but crush injuries which can result from a fall or from being trapped for a long period of time can be especially debilitating.
It is likely that OSHA will conduct an investigation of this workplace accident to determine whether any safety violations were present at the concrete yard and whether any safety precautions could have been taken by the employer to prevent this accident form occurring in the first place. Unsafe working conditions exist in many workplace environments. Often times, employers who are looking to protect their bottom line do not take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their employees. OSHA does have the authority to levy substantial fines on companies if unsafe working conditions exist.
Even if no safety violations are present at a worksite, any injuries that are received on the job are covered under the Massachusetts workers' compensation system. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help injured workers receive the maximum amount of benefits that are available under the law.
Source: Telegram.com, "Trapped man freed from silo of cement powder in Holden," Steven H. Foskett Jr. and Morgan True, July 12, 2012