Trapping of Worker in Hopper Results in $75,000 Fine

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A worker at a company’s aggregate pit was trying to remove a blockage in a hopper. After unsuccessfully trying a pry bar, the worker was lowered into the hopper in the bucket of an excavator. He got out of the bucket and stood on top of the material in the hopper. While he was inside the hopper, a conveyor belt was started, releasing the blockage and causing sand and gravel to flow out of the bottom. The release of the blockage caused part of the worker’s body to drop down the hole, trapping him the hopper. He was extricated and taken to the hospital. The MOL found that the company failed to ensure that, before a worker entered into any silo, bin, hopper or other container or structure containing bulk material, all further supply of material was stopped and any removal of material prevented. The court fined it $75,000 [St. Marys Cement, Govt. News Release, April 22, 2015].