Hollywood, Fla. Contractor Charged with Willful Confined Space Violations

OSHA has proposed $115,000 in penalties against Hollywood, Fla.-based John Moriarty & Associates of Florida Inc. (JMAF) for two alleged willful and one serious violation of OSHA standards uncovered during an inspection of the company's construction site on Brickell Avenue in Miami. Three employees contracted from a temporary help company were injured after they were instructed by JMAF supervisors to clean the inside of a tank that contained concrete slurry waste. Two of the employees were admitted to a local hospital with second-degree chemical burns.

"These employees were placed in a hazardous situation by JMAF's supervisors who ignored OSHA standards and the warning of their own safety professional," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.

OSHA has cited JMAF for two willful violations, with proposed penalties of $110,000, for instructing the employees to enter a confined space without first identifying and correcting any possible hazards, which exposed the employees to concrete slurry waste. The employer failed to instruct employees on the hazards associated with confined spaces and failed to train the employees on the use of protective and emergency equipment, the agency said. A serious violation with a $5,000 penalty has been issued for failing to require employees to wear appropriate protective equipment, including eye and face protection, while working with a hazardous material.

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