OSHA cited Shawn D. Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co., Inc., for egregious willful, repeat, and serious workplace safety violations following the fatal fall of a worker. Inspectors found that the owner knowingly failed to ensure that his workers used fall protection at two worksites. Purvis faces a total of $1,792,726 in penalties. On April 5, a grand jury indicted Purvis for manslaughter, charging that his repeated violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards caused his worker’s death. For details, see the news release.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recorded five new public service announcements discussing how to keep workers safe while performing cleanup and recovery operations following hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. The 30-second audio messages, recorded in English and Spanish, cover potential hazards posed by chainsaws, downed power lines, unstable surfaces, contaminated floodwaters, and mold exposure.
OSHA signed a two-year alliance with the National Utility Contractors Association of South Florida to reduce worker exposure to trenching and excavation hazards. The signing coincided with Trench Safety Stand-Down Week on June 17-21. The new alliance will focus on cave-in, silica, heat stress, and confined spaces hazards. For more information, see the news release.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can create a variety of hazards for workers. Preparing for weather-related emergencies plays a vital role in ensuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment to stay safe when severe weather strikes. OSHA’s Hurricane Preparedness and Response page provides information on creating evacuation plans and supply kits and reducing hazards for hurricane response and recovery work.
OSHA ordered Freight Rite, Inc., to reinstate a truck driver who was terminated for refusing to operate a commercial motor vehicle in hazardous road conditions caused by inclement weather. The termination violated worker protections of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. The company was also ordered to pay $31,569 in back wages and interest, $100,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensatory damages, reasonable attorney fees, and to refrain from retaliating against the worker. For more information, see the news release.
After representatives of OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program worked with Teton Steel of Montana to identify fall and electrical hazards at its facility in Billings, the company took steps to improve safety throughout the workplace. Teton now trains workers to recognize and report hazards and encourages management and workers to collaborate on developing safe practices. Their commitment to safety has resulted in more than seven years without a worker injury and acceptance in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For more information, read the success story.
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