OSHA Fines Waste Hauling Company Following Fatality

Nov. 13, 2000
OSHA cited Waste Management Inc., doing business in Orange City, Fla., as Jennings Environmental Services, for violations found following the death of a temporary employee.

The citations carry proposed penalties totaling $122,500.

According to OSHA, the victim, who had been on the job for only two weeks, was killed May 3 when he fell from a recycle truck.

Following the investigation, OSHA cited Waste Management for not providing temporary workers with reflective or high visibility vests or equivalent personal protective equipment.

James Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville area director, pointed out that the company has a history of failing to ensure that the employees wear proper protective clothing.

OSHA fined the company for repeat violations. The agency found that Waste Management did not train temporary employees about safety procedures and practices when riding modified trucks and working the routes.

Also cited as repeat were the employer's failure to conduct a workplace hazard assessment and to record an injury sustained by a temporary employee.

Additional penalties were proposed for two serious violations -- using one-half inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe to transport compressed air of greater pressure than the pipe could safely handle and not having tongue guards on a grinder.

Other-than-serious violations, included recordkeeping, employee access to medical records and lack of an adequate emergency action plan.

OSHA found that Waste Management's temporary workers were treated differently than regular full-time employees even though they performed the same work and were exposed to the same hazards.

"This company's policy regarding temporary employees cannot be tolerated," said Borders. "Having been cited in the past at various locations around the country for similar violations, Waste Management was fully aware of the need for protective equipment and proper training for temporary workers. If the company had protected all its workers form nationally recognized industry hazards, this fatality could have been prevented."

Waste Management employs 96 workers at the Orange City site and 56,000 nationwide.

The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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