Liberty Tire Recycling cited for serious violations for exposing workers to
falls, explosion, dangerous equipment hazards following OSHA inspection
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Liberty Tire Recycling LLC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for repeat and serious safety violations for exposing workers to falls, fire/explosion and dangerous, unguarded equipment. OSHA cited the Port St. Lucie recycler following a Site-Specific Targeting* inspection in January 2014. Proposed penalties total $45,000.
"This employer repeatedly failed to address previously cited fall and unguarded machinery violations, which were brought to management's attention two months ago," said Condell Eastmond, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale. "These hazards need to be eliminated from the workplace immediately to ensure workers are protected from serious injury or death."
Two repeat citations, carrying penalties of $30,000, were issued for exposing workers to fall hazards while working on platforms that lacked guardrails or had incomplete guardrails, and for exposing workers to caught-in hazards while they worked near unguarded shaft and conveyor belts. In November 2013, the company was cited for these same violations at its facility in Saltillo, Miss. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Three serious violations, with $15,000 in penalties, were cited for exposing workers to safety hazards while a powered industrial truck was operating with no functioning backup alarm or front lights. Additionally, employees were exposed to fire/explosion hazards from the accumulation of rubber dust and hazards from unguarded dangerous machinery on conveyors. A serious violation occurs 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.
According to the company's website, Liberty Tire collects and recycles about one-third of the nation's scrap tires. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Fort Lauderdale Area Office at 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 ensure 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 news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
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