May 2, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
Penalties follow inspection of Miami construction site
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $115,000 in penalties against John Moriarty & Associates of Florida Inc. (JMAF) for two alleged willful and one serious violation of OSHA standards uncovered during an inspection of the company's construction site on Brickell Avenue in Miami.
Three employees contracted from a temporary help company were injured after they were instructed by JMAF supervisors to clean the inside of a tank that contained concrete slurry waste. Two of the employees were admitted to a local hospital with second-degree chemical burns.
"These employees were placed in a hazardous situation by JMAF's supervisors who ignored OSHA standards and the warning of their own safety professional," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.
OSHA has cited the company for two willful violations, with proposed penalties of $110,000, for instructing the employees to enter a confined space without first identifying and correcting any possible hazards, which exposed the employees to concrete slurry waste. The employer failed to instruct employees on the hazards associated with confined spaces and failed to train the employees on the use of protective and emergency equipment. A serious violation with a $5,000 penalty has been issued for failing to require employees to wear appropriate protective equipment, including eye and face protection, while working with a hazardous material.
The company has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office, 8040 Peters Road, Building H-100, telephone 954-424-0242.
OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The agency operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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