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Minn. worker killed by 5,000-pound cement mixer drum

Dodge Center Ambulance personnel responded to a collapse at the Con-Tech plant

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A Dodge Center ambulance.

Dodge Center Ambulance/Facebook

By Jeff Kiger
Post-Bulletin

DODGE CENTER, Minn. — A 63-year-old Con-Tech employee was crushed to death by a 5,000-pound cement mixer drum on Monday morning, according to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department.

Dodge Center Ambulance staff and co-workers tried to save Teofilo Gonzalez, of Brownsdale, but attempts at CPR failed. He was pronounced dead at 10:29 a.m. at the Dodge Center manufacturing facility at 65740 State Highway 56.

Co-workers told the sheriff’s department that Gonzalez was cutting a crossbeam support on a dolly that was supporting a mixer drum. When the dolly collapsed, the 5,000-pound drum fell on Gonzalez.

Co-workers used two forklifts to remove the drum.

In addition to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department, Dodge County Ambulance and the Dodge Center Fire Department were on scene at the incident. Mayo Clinic was unable to send its Mayo One helicopter ambulance due to weather conditions.

The Minnesota Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into Gonzalez’s death.

“We will inspect work areas for safety or health hazards, try to determine what caused or contributed to the accidents and review whether existing OSHA standards were violated. The goal is to help avoid a recurrence of similar accidents,” stated OSHA Communication Director James Honerman.

OSHA records show that the last safety complaint report filed about Con-Tech was in August 2020. The initial penalty for that incident was $7,000.

The Southeastern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office is assisting with the investigation.

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