Federal Court Issues Orders for Tampa Electric After Incident Killed Five Workers in 2017

Federal Court Issues Orders for Tampa Electric After Incident Killed Five Workers in 2017

The company must make changes, pay a penalty and will face probation after a court order.

A federal court has ordered one Florida company to make changes and pay a penalty after pleading guilty to violating federal standards.

The orders to make a “safety compliance plan,” pay $500,000 in penalties and face 36 months of probation were issued to Tampa Electric Company after it “pleaded guilty to willfully violating an OSHA standard” following an incident in 2017 that injured six workers, according to the news release.

In 2017, Tampa Electric and contract workers were injured when molten slag was expelled from a furnace after a blockage “broke free.” Five of the workers were fatally injured, and one sustained serious burns.

The 2017 incident was not the first slag-related incident to cause injury to workers. Tampa Electric responded after the previous incidents, changing procedures and training. According to the news release, Tampa Electric did not “ensure those briefings took place" and pleaded guilty.

“Five workers at the Big Bend River Station electrical power plant never should have died,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Tremelle Howard in Atlanta in the news release. “The U.S. Department of Labor’s enforcement action and the litigation that followed shows that employers who willfully expose workers to the risks of serious injury or worse will be held accountable for failing in their legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace.”

Under the order from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Electric will also have to “meet its restitution payment obligation to the families of the deceased and injured workers” reached in previous settlements.

Tampa Electric also paid $139,424 to OSHA for penalties from citations.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue