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Bacardi Bottling Cited Following Worker’s Death

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Bacardi Bottling Corp. with 12 safety violations following the death of a 21 year old temporary employee his first day on the job. The proposed penalties for the willful and serious violations total $192,000.
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OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor said, “A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary.”

The employee was cleaning glass from under the hoist of a palletizing machine when the worker accidentally restarted the palletizer. Bacardi failed to train the employee of using locks and tags to prevent these kinds of accidents and to ensure its employees used these procedures to lock or tag out machines.

Two willful citations were issued for failing to create and use lockout/tagout procedures, and for failing to train workers on these procedures. The Secretary of Labor also said, “We are seeing untrained workers – many of them temporary workers – killed very soon after starting a new job. This must stop. 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.”

Bacardi was also cited with nine serious violations including: exposing workers to trips, obstructing exit routes, exposing workers to falling debris from overhead conveyors, and electrical shock hazards. One other-than-serious hazard was also cited for storing a mixing tank within a foot of the electrical box.

Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.

Cited Sources:

Bacardi downs stiff OSHA penalty following worker death
, ScienceBlogs, July 11, 2013

US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Jacksonville, Fla.-based Bacardi Bottling following death of temporary worker on 1st day, osha.gov, February 11, 2013

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