Report: Safety Lapses Factors in Virginia Worker’s Death

November 8, 2011

A new report says safety lapses and equipment failures contributed to the death of a Norfolk, Va., sanitation worker.

Fifty-one-year-old Jerry Holton was crushed inside a recycling truck in February.

The report by city safety officer Craig Watkins cites a lack of safety training and says both the city’s waste management department and Holton failed to follow certain rules.

The report also says two safety systems on the truck didn’t work because the vehicle had been rewired to bypass the hopper door safety system. City officials haven’t determined how the rewiring occurred.

The Virginian-Pilot obtained Watkins’ report under the Freedom of Information Act.

In October, the state cited Norfolk for 19 serious safety violations stemming from the accident.

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