The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited general contractor Trans Florida Development Corp. of Miami for one willful health and one serious safety violation with total proposed penalties of $66,990. The enclosed-space citations follow an incident that occurred in June at a work site at Ocean Drive and First Street where workers were installing a new drain system. A worker using a powered saw to cut a hole in a storm drain box was overexposed to carbon monoxide from the saw and had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
The willful health violation, with a $61,600 penalty, was cited for failing to evaluate the job site and implement procedures to ensure workers were not exposed to toxic substances while working in a confined space. 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.
The serious safety violation, with a $5,390 penalty, was cited for failing to provide training on confined space hazards. 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.
"This employer knew the proper safety precautions and procedures associated with working in confined spaces, yet chose to ignore those requirements and ultimately failed to protect the workers," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.
Trans Florida Development Corp. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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.