Kosmos Cement Contractor Worker Dies in Accident

A 33 year old contract worker at Kosmos Cement in Louisville, KY., was killed on Aug. 9, according to MSHA records.

The worker, Richard Snyder, was attempting to replace the lift cable pulleys on the chute located at the barge loadout. The lower portion of the chute unexpectedly fell, and the lift cable pinned the victim against the chute causing fatal injuries.

The contractor’s death comes only months after Kosmos Cement  voluntarily pled guilty April 20 in U.S. District Court in Kentucky for willfully violating MSHA’s metal/nonmetal safety standard, §56.14100(b). The company was sentenced by Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay to pay a $400,000 fine related to the accident of contract employee Filipe M. Fiscalla (see 23 MSHN 183).

Fiscalla, 34, died Feb. 21, 2014, from a 51-ft fall into an elevator shaft at the Cemex Inc. Kosmos Cement Co. plant in Jefferson County, Ky. A criminal charge was filed against the company on March 25, 2016.

In that case, United States Attorney John Kuhn said,  “This is one of the worst cases of negligence on the part of a company. Improper maintenance resulted in an employee’s death. This agreement will ensure the proper maintenance of the cement facility and safety for the employees through mandatory on-sight inspections and a written Maintenance Control Program.” The government also agreed in the criminal proceeding to forego prosecution of agents and employees of the company.

Records show for this most recent fatality, Snyder had worked three years at the cement facility for the contractor Huelsman & Sweeney. Fiscalla, who died 30 months ago, had worked for another independent contractor at the plant when he fell to his death.