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Friday, October 4, 2013

Bulldozer Accident Injures One in Scottsboro - Citizen Concerned About Accident Cause Coverup

UPDATE: Oct. 9, 2013 Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter confirmed Monday that Scottsboro Street Superintendent Ronnie Dolberry was suspended for 30 days without pay. The accident occurred at the tree clearing site between Trammel Stadium and South Broad Street. The injured employee was not identified.
Mayor Melton Potter confirmed that an employee with the Scottsboro Street Department was injured when a bull dozer he was operating suffered an equipment failure and flipped injuring the employee. (Fair Use picture, You Tube, of bull dozier rollover accident.)
Mayor Potter stated the employee was treated and released from the Highlands Medical Center Emergency room with a sprained neck last week.

I received a phone call from a private citizen informing me of the accident as there was a concern there would be an attempt to cover up the accident event due to a failure to repair the equipment's brakes. According to my source, the brakes failed on the piece of equipment and as a result the equipment could not be stopped and rolled over.
According to the concerned citizen the brake failure had been a previously identified problem, but because of the expense of fixing the problem, the equipment was allowed to continue to be operated causing this accident and the injury to the city employee. 
The Mayor also confirmed that disciplinary action had been initiated against an unidentified supervisor but could not disclose the specifics of the disciplinary action.
The Mayor stated that no OSHA Investigation had been initiated that he was aware. OSHA Reporting requirements: http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/new-osha300form1-1-04.pdf  This is a reportable accident.
Names have not been released concerning the accident or disciplined employees with the City of Scottsboro.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am citizen of Scottsboro and concerned that Mayor Potter is not giving the "full" story. If OSHA is not investigating this accident, then who has been onsite with the street department last week investigating? Surely, if OSHA is performing an investingation would our Mayor not be made aware of it? Is the city required to report this to OSHA? If it is some agency, perhaps the City's own insurance company, would the superintendent of that department not notify our Mayor and get permission for them to perform an investigation? Come on, Mayor Potter, uou know more than you are reporting! There has been an ONGOING investigation from a third party.

The driver of the bulldozer in this incident was not wearing a seatbelt. Why, you might ask? That is because the superintendent was aware that the seatbelt did not work on the bulldozer but the employees of the street department were instructed to use regardless of their own personal safety! The breaks were reported to the street department superintendent as being faulty earlier, and a quote for repair was provided to this superintendent. The employees were told "it was too much money" and gave the operators the instructions to just stop the bulldozer using the "blade".

This superintendent needs to loose his job! I am sure if he put his life at risk by using this piece of equipment he would think that the repair cost would of outweighed the risk! Now we have an injured employee who is currently in therapy and waiting to determine if surgery is necessary. Saftey and prevention took a backseat to money!

It is also interesting that no mention has been made public, (to my knowledge) of other safety infringements and current lawsuits against the city from employees of this same department. Within this year another employee(now "ex") lost a finger in an on-the-job accident using equipment that a required guard was removed (and later replaced after the indcident). The employee was "let go". There is an active suit against the city, as well as this same superintendent, regarding this mentioned incident.

Another different employee was injured as a result of the "claw" on a truck being reported as malfunctioning. This same superitendent told the now-injured employee to use the faulty equipment anyways. That same hour the so-instructed employee had a log drop from the malfunctioning "claw" and broke his shoulder. A lawsuit is active regarding this injury.

If our Mayor does not release this superintendent of his duty, shame on you Mr. Potter! You are just as responsible / guilty for the safety of our employees as anyone and your failure to ensure that our city employees safety is your #1 priority is deplorable. This is costing not only money to our great city but possible lives of our citizens!!

Who has the Mayor charged (in lieu of the leave of the current Superintendent)Could it be that the person who is now responsible for these employee's safety was aware of these same safety infringements? What actions / precautions have been put in place for our Street Department to prevent future accidents from happening? I hope our Mayor has considered this and put approriate measures in place and has provided these employees with the security that their safety is valued!