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Cement dust damage for the operator in the concrete batching plant

A worker at a batching plant has received serious and permanent injuries following an uncontrolled release of cement dust during a concrete batching operation.

The worker was in the control room of a batching plant monitoring the flow of cement dust from a silo into a weigh hopper. When the hopper reached the desired weight the operator activated a lever to stop the flow; however, a pneumatic butterfly valve located at the top of the sock connecting the silo to the hopper, which did not close and the cement dust continued to flow. The rubber sock splits soon after and cement dust discharged over the area including the batch plant control room.

The worker initially left the control room as it began to fill with dust, but returned to make further attempts to activate the lever and stop the flow. As a result of inhaling cement dust, the worker has suffered significant loss of lung capacity, and has since been diagnosed with Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease. The worker has been unfit for duty since the incident.

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