OSHA Fines Bacardi $192,000 After Temp Worker Killed On First Day

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Lawrence Daquan “Day” Davis’ first day as a temp worker at Bacardi Bottling Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla., turned out to be his last day on Earth.

Davis, 21, was crushed to death by a palletizer machine at the Jacksonville Bacardi facility in August 2012. Davis was cleaning glass from under the hoist of a palletizing machine located in the production area off the bottling line when another employee restarted the palletizer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Bacardi Bottling Corp. with 12 alleged safety violations and proposed fines of $192,000 in connection with Davis’ death.

Davis worked for Remedy Intelligent Staffing, a temporary staffing service that Bacardi Bottling uses to fill certain types of jobs.

Bacardi employs about 250 workers at the Jacksonville plant, which produces about 45,000 cases of rum per day, all of the Bacardi rum sold in North America.

“A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “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.

Two willful citations have been 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.

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,” Michaels said. “This must stop.”

“Employers must train all employees, including temporary workers, on the hazards specific to that workplace — before they start working,” Harris said. “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 has been cited 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.

Bacardi Disagrees With OSHA Findings

“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,” Bacardi said in a statement. “Bacardi worked with OSHA on improvements following a tragic accident in August 2012, which resulted in the death of a temporary agency worker. The company shares with OSHA the common goals of well-trained employees and safe workplace conditions.”

The company said it disagreed with OSHA characterizations the company’s actions in its press release.

“As a family-owned company with a long history of operating as an industry leader in workplace safety, Bacardi takes seriously any accident and continues to extend its sincerest condolences to the family,” the company said. “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.”

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

Bacardi Bottling has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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