Region 4 News Release: 10-1113-ATL (497)
Aug. 26, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Asphalt Paving Specialists
for willful and serious safety violations after injuring a worker
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Asphalt Paving Specialists Inc. for alleged safety violations resulting in an employee being injured at its Davie, Fla., worksite in March. Penalties total $62,200.
The incident occurred when an employee operating a tractor struck another worker who was digging a shallow ditch. The injured worker was hospitalized and has since returned to work.
Asphalt Paving Specialists, based in Hollywood, Fla., is receiving one willful citation with a proposed penalty of $49,000 for failing to provide a reverse signal alarm on the equipment that struck and pinned the employee while backing up. The tractor has not had an operational reverse signal for approximately two years. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
The company also has been cited with 10 serious violations and proposed penalties of $13,200 for failing to train workers in the recognition and avoidance of hazards. Other violations include a lack of eye protection while working near chemicals; exposing workers to accumulation of materials that could result in tripping, fire or an explosion; failing to provide a fire extinguisher within 50 feet of flammable and combustible material; operating trucks with inoperative safety devices; and failing to develop or maintain a hazard communications program. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"It's time employers realize that OSHA will not tolerate a company's work ethic where profit is placed ahead of worker safety. OSHA will aggressively identify these employers, cite them for unsafe working environments, and hold them responsible for their workers' safety," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's area office, 1000 South Pine Island Road, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324; telephone 954-424-0242. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.