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Barcadi Fined by OSHA for Neglecting Lockout/Tagout

Barcadi’s Bottling Corporation faces fines of more than $190,000 after an OSHA investigation into the death of a worker in its Jacksonville Florida facility.

The death in question was that of 21-year old Lawrence Daquan Davis, a temporary support worker who was on his first day on the job. Due to lockout/tagout procedures not being enforced Davis was crushed to death by a heavy palletizer machine (used for stacking palettes) where he was sweeping under for glass.  Not knowing he was there, another fellow employee reactivated the machine, causing the heavy machine to fall down onto Davis.

The incident could have been avoided had lockout/tagout procedures been followed, and it was the finding of OSHA that not enough was done to make new employees aware of the importance of using lockout/tagout equipment when carrying out routine maintenance. Due to the incident OSHA has slapped Barcadi with fines totalling $140,000.

"A worker's first day at work shouldn't be his last day on earth," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. "Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary."

In total, Barcadi Bottling Corporation received 12 safety violations, with the first being for inadequate training in LOTO.

A further two wilful violations were given when OSHA found that Barcadi had failed to develop, document and utilise lockout/tagout procedures for the control of potentially hazardous energy and train temporary workers on lockout/tagout procedures.

The company was given nine further serious violations for:

  • Exposing workers to trips, struck-by and fire hazards where fixed permanent conveyors crossed through the aisle
  • Obstructing exit routes
  • Exposing works to falling bottles and debris from overhead conveyors
  • Electrical shock hazards
  • Failure to provide enough lockout/tagout devices
  • Failure to conduct an adequate periodic review of energy control procedures
  • Failure to perform servicing and maintenance on machines and equipment without training in the methods and means for energy isolation
  • Failure to require workers to wear safety goggles and long sleeves when using air guns at 90 pounds per square inch.

We are seeing untrained workers - many of them temporary workers - killed very soon after starting a new job. This must stop," said Michaels. "Employers must train all employees, including temporary workers, on the hazards specific to that workplace - before they start working. Had Bacardi done so, this tragic loss of life could have been prevented."

In total the violations come with proposed penalties of $192,000.

Barcadi put out a statement about the findings stating:

“Throughout its history, Bacardi has been steadfast in its commitment to provide employees with a safe environment while adhering to the highest standards in procedures, policies and training. Bacardi reaffirms this commitment by working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration

“(OSHA) during OSHA’s recent inspection of the Company’s Jacksonville, Florida, facilities. Bacardi has already addressed or put in place plans that resolve all safety and health matters identified by OSHA. Bacardi disagrees with how OSHA has characterized the Company’s actions in its news release.

“As OSHA conducted its inspection, a standard procedure for any workplace accident, Bacardi worked together with the agency and took immediate steps to correct any noted safety concerns identified by the inspector, rather than waiting until after the final report was issued.

“Bacardi worked with OSHA on improvements following a tragic accident in August 2012, which resulted in the death of a temporary agency worker. The Company shares with OSHA the common goals of well-trained employees and safe workplace conditions.

“As a family-owned company with a long history of operating as an industry leader in workplace safety, Bacardi takes seriously any accident and continues to extend its sincerest condolences to the family. Always looking to improve in safety measures and operational performance, Bacardi conducted additional employee re-training on lockout/tagout procedures, updated safety policies and procedures, and completed a thorough review of all equipment in order to prevent such an accident from happening again.

“Bacardi, in its more than 150-year history, has embedded corporate responsibility into all aspects of its business, and with that, continually strives for the highest standards of safety for its employees. As part of this ongoing workplace commitment to excellence, Bacardi is the only international spirits company certified to be operating in accordance with internationally-recognized standards for quality (ISO 9001), environment (ISO 14001), and health and safety (OHSAS 18001) for all its production facilities globally.”