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Cement company fined $62K after man fell to his death in Natchez

Donny Mitchell fell to his death on Feb. 7 when attempting to climb a ladder onto a walkway at the Buzzi Unicem USA terminal in Natchez (Photo courtesy of The Natchez Democrat)

A company in Natchez has been fined over $60,000 after a worker fell to his death from a barge earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the report on Aug. 17, citing multiple safety violations at the Buzzi Unicem USA facility in Natchez.

The cement sales company was fined a total of $62,500 after an investigation concluded that three workers – including the one who died – were placed at risk of drowning due to the absence of mandated personal flotation devices, guardrails, first aid training, and eyewash stations.

Donny Mitchell, 50, fell into the Mississippi River on Feb. 7 near the Natchez Port in Adams County. The accident happened at approximately 4:30 a.m. when Mitchell was attempting to climb a ladder onto a walkway at the Buzzi Unicem USA terminal.

Mitchell, a Clayton, La., native, was found dead over a month later on March 14.

Buzzi Unicem USA operates as River Cement Sales Co. and sells brick, stone, and related construction materials across the United States. The company now has 15 days to appeal the decision from OSHA.

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