He was trimming weeds when he was struck in the back of the head by a rock that shot out of the grass clipping discharge chute of a riding lawn mower being operated nearby by another employee.
OSHA found that the lawnmower’s discharge chute lacked the guard that prevents rocks and other objects from shooting out.
The bracket used to attach the discharge chute was broken in 2014 and the company had not repaired or replaced it since.
This left employees vulnerable to struck-by injuries.
OSHA cited Perry Maintenance, NY on Sept. 30 for one willful violation of workplace safety standards and proposed a fine of $70,000.
The company has contested its citations and penalties to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Michael Scime, OSHA’s area director in Buffalo, NY said, “the attachment and use of the required guard for the discharge chute would have kept this hazard from occurring in the first place.” He added, “employers should take note of this tragic incident and ensure that required safeguards are in place and in use to protect their employees against injury or death.”