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La Salle dairy farm operator cited in pit death


September 30, 2021
By Bree Rody


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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration has issued a citation to a dairy farm operator in La Salle, CO for a recent manure pit death.

The accidental drowning, according to the citation, occurred in March. Juan Panzo Temoxtle, 44, was operating a vacuum truck that entered an unguarded manure pit. Temoxtle was “trapped in the submerged cab of the truck” and later died of hypoxic injuries in a hospital.

The citation summarizes four violations determined as a result of inspection, all of which are deemed “serious.” Shelton Cattle and Land is facing penalties of up to $24,575. Violations include employee training on hazardous chemicals, a lack of written hazardous communication program, lack of guarding or barriers around the pit and more.

“The employer did not ensure that the pit had adequate guarding or curbing to prevent the truck from falling into the manure pit while moving it into position on the push-off platform,” the citation read.

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The business has 15 days from the initial issuing of the citation (Sept. 24) to comply with or contest findings, or discuss the matter further with a representative from OSHA.

A GoFundMe is currently set up to collect contributions for Temoxtle’s family.