On August 5, 2020

Worker injured at Westminster Cracker

Westminster Cracker by Tom Leypoldt

By Ed Larson

A spokesman for the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) confirmed Monday, Aug. 3, that an investigation was commenced on Friday, July 30 following a report by Westminster Cracker Company of an accident in the plant on July 29.

Rutland City Fire, Rutland City Police and Regional Ambulance responded to the incident.

The unnamed worker was reportedly transferred to the UVM Medical Center after being initially treated locally.

VOSHA indicated that their investigation could take three to six months and details would not be released until then. VOSHA indicated Westminster Cracker complied with reporting requirements and was cooperating with VOSHA in the matter. VOSHA would not indicate what type of machine caused the injuries to the worker.

Rutland City Fire Chief Richard Lovett stated that the fire department was contacted and responded to extricate a female worker who had become entangled and trapped by a mixing type machine with stainless steel tynes. Lovett stated that cutting the tynes would have been difficult so firefighters and workers “took out the wrenches” to dismantle the unit. Lovett said the employee was transported with a portion of the machine still impaled.

“She was talking to us the whole time,” Lovett said.

Lovett stated he was unaware of the victim’s current condition.

According to the Chief Rutland City Fire was on scene 36 minutes and the rescue operation had everyone coming together like “a well oiled machine.”

Lovett stated that VOSHA had spoken with him as well. He indicated numerous people called his department asking questions about the incident. Lovett stated he was not allowed to release the injured worker’s identity.

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