State fines New London over compactor death - CBS 5 - KPHO

State fines New London over compactor death

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The city of New London is facing some serious fines after a man was killed in the city's trash compactor.

He fell in at the transfer station back in January and now the Connecticut Department of Labor is weighing in on what happened.

The fines amount to nearly $11,000 for willful and serious violations to a hazardous work environment.

That decision was given to Mayor Daryl Finizio on March 12. City officials have 15 days to challenge the findings and up until April 28 to fix the problems inspectors found at the transfer station.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration shut down the city's transfer station for several days following the tragic death on Jan. 30 of 60-year-old Floyd Smeeton, who is a city resident.

Somehow Smeeton lost his balance and fell more than seven feet down into the hydraulically operated compactor where he was crushed to death.

His friends told Eyewitness News Smeeton had regularly gone to the transfer station.

Now the Connecticut Department of Labor's investigation is complete and they're citing the city of New London for willful and serious violations.

On Thursday evening, Finizio, who is named in the report, said he had no comment. 

The first citation is a penalty for willfully violation, a $9,000 penalty "for having an open sided platform with greater than four foot drop to the adjacent ground was not protected with a standard guardrail or it's equivalent."

The second citation is for public works and a penalty for a serious violation, a $900 penalty.

"It was determined that employees have job duties which put them close to the leading edge of the compactor pit opening when it is in operation, and the gates are not in place," the report stated.

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