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Feb
2013
14

OSHA Hits Bacardi With 12 Safety Violations, $192,000 Fine Following Temp Worker’s Death During First Day on the Job



The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the Bacardi Bottling Corp. with 12 alleged safety violations following the death of a 21-year old temporary worker who was killed on his first day on the job. Proposed penalties for the willful and serious violations total $192,000.

The victim, Lawrence Daquan Davis, was placed at the Bacardi facility by Remedy Intelligent Staffing. The incident happened while Davis was cleaning machinery. According to WJXT Jacksonville,

Davis was cleaning glass from under the hoist of a palletizing machine when an employee restarted the palletizer. Officials said Bacardi Bottling had failed to train temporary employees on utilizing locks and tags to prevent the accidental startup of machines and to ensure its own employees utilized procedures to lock or tag out machines.

OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels said of the incident,

“A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary.”

The OSHA violations center around a lack of training for temporary workers. A focus on proper training must take place either before workers get on the work floor or before they are allowed to participate in dangerous activities.

“We are seeing untrained workers — many of them temporary workers — killed very soon after starting a new job. This must stop,” Michaels said. “Employers must train all employees, including temporary workers, on the hazards specific to that workplace before they start working. Had Bacardi done so, this tragic loss of life could have been prevented.”

Two willful citations were issued for failing to develop, document and utilize lockout/tagout procedures for the control of potentially hazardous energy and train temporary workers on lockout/tagout procedures.

In a statement, Bacardi defended its workplace safety record and said it cooperated with OSHA in its investigation.

Throughout its history, Bacardi has been steadfast in its commitment to provide employees with a safe environment while adhering to the highest standards in procedures, policies and training. Bacardi reaffirms this commitment by working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during OSHA’s recent inspection of the Company’s Jacksonville, Florida, facilities. Bacardi has already addressed or put in place plans that resolve all safety and health matters identified by OSHA. Bacardi disagrees with how OSHA has characterized the Company’s actions in its news release.

“As OSHA conducted its inspection, a standard procedure for any workplace accident, Bacardi worked together with the agency and took immediate steps to correct any noted safety concerns identified by the inspector, rather than waiting until after the final report was issued.”

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