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OSHA Cites Bacardi Bottling After Temp Worker Death

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:23am
Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Updated Tuesday, February 12 at 12:00PM to reflect comments from Bacardi Bottling Corp. in regards to the accident and the OSHA citations.

Jacksonville, Fla. (Manufacturing.net) — Bacardi Bottling Corp. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 12 alleged safety violations following the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker in August 2012. Lawrence Daquan "Day" Davis was on his first day the job when he was crushed to death by a palletizer machine at the company’s Jacksonville facility. OSHA has proposed a fine of $192,000 for the various safety violations.

Bacardi Bottling Corp. is a part of the global company Bacardi Limited, with 27 facilities worldwide. In order to hire temporary employees, the company uses Remedy Intelligent Staffing. In a statement, the company says it "has been steadfast in its commitment to provide employees with a safe environment while adhering to the highest standards in procedures, policies and training." In addition, Bacardi Bottling is working with OSHA representatives in order to ensure the safety concerns are remedidied as quickly as possible.

OHSA says Davis was cleaning glass from beneath the hoist of a palletizing machine when another employee restarted the machine. This resulted in the crushing death. An investigation found that Bacardi Bottling did not train its temporary employees on utilizing locks and tags to prevent the accidental start-up of machines undergoing maintenance. The company also did not ensure its own employees locked or tagged-out of machines.

These flaws resulted in two willful citations for failing to develop, document and utilize lockout/tagout procedures. The other nine serious violations included exposure to trips, struck-by and fire hazards where fixed conveyors crossed through the aisle, exposed exit routes and electrical shock hazards.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said in a statement: “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.

“We are seeing untrained workers — many of them temporary workers — killed very soon after starting a new job. This must stop. 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.”

Bacardi Bottling, Inc. has announced that it disagrees with OSHA's characterization of the accident.

Since the incident, the company says it "takes seriously any accident and continues to extend its sincerest condolences to the family. Always looking to improve in safety measures and operational performance, Bacardi conducted additional employee re-training on lockout/tagout procedures, updated safety policies and procedures, and completed a thorough review of all equipment in order to prevent such an accident from happening again."

OSHA says the company has 15 days to respond to the citations and penalties, either in the form of compliance or a contesting of the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA also encourages workers to report fatalities, serious injuries or situations posing an immediate danger to employees to call 800-321-OSHA.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BacardiBottlingCorp_584358_0208_13.pdf.

 

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