OSHA Cites Florida Transportation Services Following Employee Deaths

OSHA has cited Florida Transportation Services for one willful and four serious safety violations. In May, three employees died after entering a cargo hold filled with argon gas.

"The unfortunate and needless loss of three lives resulted from the company's failure to provide its employees with sufficient training and knowledge of hazardous chemicals," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.

OSHA is citing the company with one willful violation carrying a $63,000 fine for not training employees on the proper methods and observations used to detect the presence or release of a gas, such as argon. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The serious violations, each of which carries a $6,300 fine, address the company's failure to establish an alarm system to warn employees of an emergency after a chemical release has occurred and to develop adequate evacuation procedures. In addition, the company allowed employees to enter a hazardous atmosphere and allowed the loading of a portable tank of argon that had a damaged identification number and a faded shipping name. The citations carry $88,200 in proposed penalties.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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