Jacksonville, FL-based Bacardi Bottling Corp. is facing $192,000 in fines for safety violations following the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker his first day on the job, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Lawrence Daquan “Day” Davis, a temporary worker from Remedy Intelligent Staffing, ended up crushed to death by a palletizer machine at the Jacksonville facility last August.
“A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary.”
OSHA requires employers protect the health and safety of all workers under their supervision and control. Davis was cleaning glass from under the hoist of a palletizing machine when an employee restarted the palletizer.
Bacardi Bottling failed to train temporary employees on utilizing locks and tags to prevent the accidental start-up of machines and to ensure its own employees utilized procedures to lock or tag out machines, OSHA said.
Two willful citations were 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. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
“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.”
Also cited are nine serious violations for exposing workers to trips, struck-by and fire hazards where fixed permanent conveyors crossed through the aisle; obstructing exit routes; exposing workers to falling bottles and debris from overhead conveyors and electrical shock hazards. The employer also failed to provide an adequate number of lockout/tagout devices to perform lockout/tagout procedures of energy sources on various equipment, conduct an adequate periodic review of the energy control procedures, perform servicing and maintenance on machines and equipment without training in the methods and means for energy isolation, and require workers to wear safety goggles and long sleeves when using air guns at 90 pounds per square inch. 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.
One other-than-serious violation was for storing a mixing tank within 12 inches of the electrical panel box. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.