US DOL Finds Georgia Contractor Bypassed Safety Requirements in Investigation of 24-Year-Old Worker’s Death


Dawsonville, GA ( - If federal workplace safety requirements had been followed, a North Georgia site grading and pipeline contractor could have prevented the death of a 24-year-old worker who was killed in May after a fork attachment used on a front-end loader dislodged and struck the worker.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that when the incident occurred at the Dawsonville work site, the worker held a stake as heavy equipment drove the stake into the ground to install a stanchion for GPS equipment. The worker was transported to a local hospital, and died of his injuries.

OSHA cited Mathis Grading Inc. in Cumming for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards and not notifying OSHA of a work-related fatality within the 8-hour required reporting period. The company faces $20,480 in proposed penalties.

“Like all employers, Mathis Grading must provide a workplace free of recognizable hazards by identifying and mitigating safety hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Joshua Turner in Atlanta-East. “Had established safety instructions outlined in the equipment safety manual been followed, this tragic death could have been prevented.”

Founded in 1985, Mathis Grading Inc. is a family owned and operated site grading and pipeline installation contractor for residential, commercial and industrial land development.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

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