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Jacksonville's Bacardi Bottling Co. cited after employee death

Bacardi
Posted at 12:06 PM, Feb 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-11 07:22:25-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Bacardi Bottling Corp., based in Jacksonville, has been cited with 12 safety violations after the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker during his first day on  the job.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Bacardi after Lawrence Daquan “Day” Davis was crushed to death by a palletizer machine in August 2012. The company uses Remedy Intelligent Staffing as a temporary staffing service to provide laborers for certain types of jobs.

“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 that 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 it. OSHA says Bacardi Bottling had 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.

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. This must stop,” said Michaels. “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.”

The other citations include accusations Bacardi exposed workers to falling bottles and debris, and that workers weren't required to wear protective clothing when operating certain pieces of equipment. All citations can be viewed at the following link: www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BacardiBottlingCorp_584358_0208_13.pdf .

Proposed penalties for all violations total $192,000. 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.

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 Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.

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.