An AT&T technician was assaulted in an attempted robbery during a service call. OSHA says the company didn’t do enough to protect its employee in the field.
Kevin Mashburn was on a service call last September in Gladstone, MO, when he was assaulted outside of his AT&T vehicle.
Mashburn was struck on the head with a blunt object. Police found him inside his truck when they arrived. He was taken to a hospital where he died.
It was 19 minutes from the time Mashburn told AT&T dispatchers he was attacked to when they responded. It was 50 minutes from the time of the attack until emergency responders could find him.
“The employer failed to ensure employees needing emergency assistance have a means of continuous communication to readily summon assistance when needed … an employee was injured while conducting fieldwork and was not able to make positive contact with anyone to communicate his need for emergency assistance.”
OSHA suggested AT&T install panic buttons in work vehicles which would send a signal to emergency responders who could then locate the employee using the GPS system located in the vehicles. The agency also suggested that AT&T provide telephones mounted inside vehicles to insure there would always be a means of communication in emergencies.
AT&T plans to contest the citation. The company released a statement:
“OSHA’s allegations are at odds with the facts and it’s unfortunate that OSHA ignored the fact that Mr. Mashburn had multiple devices by which he could communicate his situation and, contrary to the citation, he in fact did so.”
AT&T went on to say that it provides its technicians with cellphones and laptops to contact police, the company or other first responders in an emergency.
Mashburn’s son, William Mashburn, wasn’t satisfied with AT&T’s response. He told a local TV station, “AT&T is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. I’m sure they can come up with something,” to help their employees communicate in an emergency.
Police arrested Bryan Middlemas for Mashburn’s murder. He’s been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree attempted robbery. Middlemas, who has pled not guilty, faces life in prison or the death penalty.