An incident involving an employee who fell 47 feet from a ladder while working at the Garvey Processing plant looks to be an accident, a state safety official believes.
Matt Jackson fell from the ladder on March 1 and was transported to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, prompting an inspection of the company from the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Jackson is undergoing physical therapy and doctors are hopeful he can begin walking in about a year, his sister Christi Jackson said.
OSHA inspectors said they completed the first phase of their investigation into the incident last week.
“At this time it looks like it was just an accident, but we won’t have a final determination until the case is complete, which will be in three or four weeks,” said Don Rideout, OSHA’s program manager for compliance.
The Eastern New Mexico University student shattered his tailbone and vertebrae and underwent a 10-hour surgery at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock.
“They (doctors) told us he’s going to need a wheel chair for a while,” Christi Jackson said.
Rideout said the ladder Jackson was on does not have a guard rail, but it’s not necessarily required under OSHA guidelines.
Rideout said once the case is complete, OSHA will determine whether fines — ranging from $200 to $2,500 — or citations will be given to Garvey Processing.
Christi Jackson said donations toward her brother’s medical bills can be made at the Portales National Bank, Clovis National Bank or the Roswell National Bank.
“He’s concentrating on healing,” Jackson said. “He’s been in good spirits.”