OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA FINES ORANGE CITY, FLA., WASTE HAULING COMPANY $122,500 FOLLOWING WORKER FATALITY
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Waste Management, Inc., doing business in Orange City, Fla., as Jennings Environmental Services, for violations found following the death of a temporary employee. The citations carry proposed penalties totaling $122,500.
According to James Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville area director, the victim, who had been on the job for only two weeks, was killed May 3rd when he fell from a recycle truck.
Following the investigation, OSHA cited Waste Management for one willful violation with a $70,000 penalty for not providing temporary workers with reflective or high visibility vests or equivalent personal protective equipment. Borders pointed out that the company has a history of failing to ensure that employees wear proper protective clothing.
OSHA fined the company another $44,500 for three repeat violations, hazards for which the company had been cited before. The largest portion of the repeat penalties, $35,000, resulted from OSHA's finding that the company did not train temporary employees about safety procedures and practices when riding modified trucks and working the routes. Also cited as repeat were the employer's failure to conduct a workplace hazard assessment and to record an injury sustained by a temporary employee.
Additional penalties of $4,000 were proposed for two serious violations - using one-half inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe to transport compressed air of greater pressure than the pipe could safely handle and not having tongue guards on a grinder.
Other-than-serious violations, including record keeping, employee access to medical records and lack of an adequate emergency action plan, accounted for the remaining $4,000 in proposed penalties.
OSHA found that Waste Management's temporary workers were treated differently than regular full-time employees even though they performed the same work and were exposed to the same hazards. "This company's policy regarding temporary employees cannot be tolerated," said Borders.
The area director continued, "Having been cited in the past at various locations around the country for similar violations, Waste Management was fully aware of the need for protective equipment and proper training for temporary workers. If the company had protected all its workers from nationally recognized industry hazards, this fatality could have been prevented."
A willful violation is one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
An other-than-serious violation is one which does not have substantial probability of causing death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
Waste Management employs 96 workers at the Orange City site and 56,000 nationwide. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Investigation of this fatality was conducted by OSHA's area office located at the Ribault Building, 1851 Executive Center Dr., Room 227, Jacksonville, Fla. 32207; telephone: (904) 232-2895.
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