Felipe Mata Vizcaya, a contract laborer with six months of experience was killed Feb. 21, while attempting to access an elevator at Kosmos Cement Co., Louisville, Ky. Vizcaya went to the fourth floor of the old finish mill to get a bucket. When Vizcaya was leaving, he opened the hoistway door on the fourth floor landing, stepped into the elevator shaft, and fell 51 ft. to the top of the elevator car located on the ground floor.
MSHA has concluded that the accident occurred due to management’s failure to ensure that procedures were established to designate a competent person to examine workplaces, including the elevator, once each shift for hazards that could adversely affect the safety of persons who used the elevator. Consequently, defective conditions related to the safe operation of the elevator were not corrected in a timely manner. The fourth floor hoistway landing door’s worn condition caused the mechanical interlock to malfunction, allowing the door to open when the elevator car was not present.