OSHA Fines Waste Hauling Company Following Fatality

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

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