OSHA fines NP asphalt plant after employee death

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A North Platte asphalt plant is being fined by the The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA wants Western Engineering Company to pay $89,032 after an employee was killed in November last year.

Andrew Martinez, of Weslaco, Texas, suffered fatal injuries after being pulled into an unguarded slat/drag conveyor.

OSHA cited the company for seven serious violations of machine guarding, lockout/tagout and permit-required confined space standards, including failing to develop a confined space entry program; issue safety permits; test atmospheric conditions; and provide air testing and monitoring equipment.

“Employers are required to develop safety and health programs that address known hazards and ensure that safety procedures are followed to prevent tragedies such as this from recurring,” said OSHA Omaha Area Office Director Jeff Funke.

Western Engineering Company 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.

Western Engineering is not making any comment on the OSHA decision.

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UPDATED STORY: Nov. 8, 2018
Officials say a Texas man, 28-year-old Andrew Martinez, died at the Western Engineering Plant in North Platte on Wednesday. Drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the death.

Martinez is from Weslaco, Texas. Officials say he fell into some equipment and died about 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

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ORIGINAL STORY: NOV. 7, 2018
A man has died after falling into some equipment at Western Engineering Company in North Platte on Wednesday.

Jason Trimble, Battalion Fire Chief with the North Platte Fire Department, said they were called about about a quarter past 2:00 Wednesday to the Western Engineering Plant for a body recovery.

He was 28 years old. No ID is being released at this time.

A Facebook post by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said:
"On November 7, 2018 at 1:50 p.m., the 911 Center received a call of a male subject pinned in an asphalt plant. Deputies and North Platte Fire and Rescue responded to Western Engineering on East Highway 30, North Platte, NE. Upon arrival Deputies discovered a twenty-eight year old male was pinned and deceased.

Deputies conducted an extensive investigation at the scene and it continues. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the case. The name of the deceased is being held pending notification of relatives."