May 10, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
Department cites company for 31 serious safety and health violations
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $49,500 against Florida Lumber Co. for 28 serious safety and three serious health violations found at its Miami retail lumber yard. Inspectors visited the facility in March as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces for inspection based on their histories of having high numbers of injury and illness cases.
OSHA proposed penalties totaling $44,250 for numerous safety hazards including operating equipment without safety guards, operating overhead cranes with hooks lacking safety latches, using defective forklift trucks, allowing emergency exit routes and fire extinguishers to be obstructed, having unsecured compressed gas cylinders and not marking electrical panels. The company had been previously cited for a serious safety violation in 1988 after an employee was fatally injured at the site.
"Our inspection of the company showed that the employer put its 90 employees, as well as their customers, at risk by following unsafe practices," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale. "It is important that companies pursue safety proactively and not wait for OSHA inspectors to discover problems."
OSHA also found three serious health violations resulting in $5,250 in proposed penalties. These violations included a lack of a hearing conservation program, noise monitoring not being conducted and audiometric testing not being provided to employees. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
Florida Lumber Co. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the 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.
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 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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