Florida Labor Contractor Faces Penalties After Worker Dies from Heat-Related Illness

Florida Labor Contractor Faces Penalties After Worker Dies from Heat-Related Illness

Guerrero Ag LLC was cited with two serious violations and proposed penalties of $30,651.

A federal investigation has revealed Florida labor contractor Guerrero Ag LLC failed to protect a 41-year-old worker who died after collapsing while harvesting oranges in extreme heat.

According to a recent release, the worker showed signs of heat stroke—such as disorientation and difficulty speaking—when he collapsed in December 2023. On that day, the heat index was approximately 92 degrees. Despite being hospitalized, the worker died three days later. OSHA cited Guerrero Ag for not implementing safety measures to shield workers from heat hazards.

With proposed penalties of $30,651, the company faces two serious violations, including exposing workers to hazardous heat conditions on three separate days and failing to provide first-aid training in areas without immediate medical facilities. Guerrero Ag also did not report the worker's hospitalization within 24 hours, nor the subsequent fatality within 8 hours. 

“Had Guerrero Ag developed and implemented an effective heat illness prevention plan, this worker’s life could have been saved,” OSHA Area Office Director Danelle Jindra in Tampa said in a statement. “Employers must take action to protect employees from workplace hazards, including heat hazards both outdoors and indoors, to prevent another tragic and preventable death.

Guerrero Ag now has 15 business days to respond to the citations and penalties by complying, requesting an informal conference with OSHA or contesting the findings.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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