Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Lyman man dies at Bridger power plant

OSHA conducts investigation

 

Courtesy photo

Marvin Dean Ortega

Blunt, force trauma injuries sustained from a fall were what caused Marvin Dean Ortega to die.

On July 28, Ortega, 53, of Lyman, was working on scaffolding at the Jim Bridger Power Plant, which is located near Points of Rocks, when he fell 45 feet, Sweetwater County Corner Dale Majhanovich said.

An autopsy took place in Loveland, Colo., Thursday and although they are not completely finished, Majhanovich was not surprised with the initial results.

"Preliminary results, after the autopsy, show he died from trauma from the fall," Majhanovich said.

As for the toxicology results, those will not be in for a few weeks.

Rocky Mountain Power spokeswomen Margaret Oler said Ortega was an external contractor working for Babcock & Wilcox Company.

Oler said the subcontracting company was working on emissions control equipment at the plant.

Ryan Cornell, public relations and media relations for B&W, said Ortega was actually working for a subcontracting group for B&W, however B&W released the following statement, "Babcock & Wilcox is saddened by the fatality of an employee of a B&W Construction Company subcontractor as the result of a fall at the PacifiCorp Jim Bridger Project. Our condolences go out to all affected by this tragedy. Work in this area was suspended and an investigation is underway to determine the root cause of this incident.   

B&W takes safety very seriously and will work with our employees and subcontractors to prevent future incidents based on the findings of our investigation." 

"We don't have the information on the specifics or details of the incident," Oler said.

"Our company is cooperating with the investigation being done by Wyoming OSHA and Babcock & Wilcox Company," Oler said.

In a phone interview Wyoming OSHA Compliance Manager, Ken Masters confirmed that there is an investigation taking place on both the Babcock &Wilcox Company and Jim Bridger Power Plant.

He said it is hard to say just how long it will take OSHA to complete the investigation, however, there are certain deadlines they must meet. Masters said they have 180 days to issue any citations to either company.

If any citations are issued, the companies have time to respond to OSHA's report.

"We are gathering information on the contractors involved as well as Jim Bridger's involvement," Masters said.

According to a press release from the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office, there are no indications that the accident involved foul play.

The OSHA investigation will determine if safety rules and regulations were being followed at the time of the fatality.

"Rocky Mountain Power does have very specific safety guidelines," Oler said.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and coworkers of him," Oler said.

 

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