Lochridge-Priest company mourns worker, claims safety as priority


Waco-based company Lochridge-Priest lost one of their workers in the Gatesville explosion on Tuesday, and now they are speaking out. 

The company had 17 workers working on site that day. Five of them are now recovering in Texas hospitals. 

While the cause of the explosion remains under investigation, the company says safety is their priority. 

“Nothing comes before safety. We have two full-time safety personnel. We train constantly on safety,” says Company President Skip Burch.

He visited all of the injured workers, including the last one on Friday in San Antonio. 

“Pray for us, and pray for the other families. Michael Bruggman (killed employee) was an outstanding employee. Somebody we were proud to work next to. He was very honorable. He was hard working,” Burch says. “I don’t know what else we could have done as a company from a standpoint of safety, but if there is, I will find it.”

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the company had just one safety violation in 2015 for a worker’s injury.  

A candlelight vigil is planned for Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at The Lakes at Central Point in Temple, while the funeral for Bruggman is set for Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Temple Convention Center.

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