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Investigations Continue Following Landfill Accident

Chautauqua County officials are waiting to see the results of investigations before making any decisions if changes need to be made at the county landfill regarding safety.

On Monday, Scott M. Deming, 56, of Westfield was killed at the landfill. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Deming, who was an independent contractor, was standing behind a large pile of garbage and debris that he had just dumped at the landfill when he was struck by a bulldozer. The Sheriff’s Office said the bulldozer operator had “no idea” Deming was behind the pile when the debris was pushed into a pit.

Deming was pronounced dead at the scene.

County Executive PJ Wendel called the incident tragic and said the county will do whatever it needs to protect both employees and independent contractors, like Deming. “It is dangerous environment but we want to make it as safe as possible as we can,” he said.

Along with the Sheriff’s Office, the county’s insurance was conducting its own investigation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been contacted as well. Because investigations are still on-going, Wendel was limited on what he could share.

“What I can say is if there are things that we should do to make it safer, we will do it,” he said.

Because of the ongoing investigations, Brad Bentley, Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities Director, declined further comment.

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