Indiana Drops INDOT Safety Fine in Worker’s Death

October 4, 2011

Indiana labor officials have waived a proposed fine against the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) over the death of an employee who was killed on the job when a co-worker backed a dump truck over him.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initially proposed a $1,875 fine against INDOT over the June 16 death of Tony Northcutt, 54, of Rensselaer. He was sealing cracks on U.S. 231 in Jasper County when a dump truck driven by Micheal Hatch, 50, backed over him. Hatch told Indiana State Police investigators he had looked into mirrors and did not see Northcutt behind him.

OSHA waived the fine after INDOT showed proof of implementing safety improvements for its road workers, INDOT La Porte District spokesman Jim Pinkerton told The Times of Munster for a story Saturday.

“As a result of this accident, INDOT has new procedures which call for a ground-spotter any time vehicles are backing up in the vicinity of other workers,” Pinkerton said.

Indiana Department of Labor spokeswoman Chetrice Mosley said waiving fines is standard practice for government agencies as long as the violations were not classified as “knowing” or “repeat” and if the agency in question complied with guidelines within a specific timeline.

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