The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced that it had cited Tampa Electric Co. and Gaffin Industrial Services Inc. after five workers were fatally injured. Another suffered serious burns. In June of 2017, OSHA investigated the Big Bend River Station electrical plant in Apollo Beach. The investigation came after five fatalities.

Inspectors determined that the employees were burned when a blockage in a coal-fired furnace broke free and spewed molten slag into the work area. As a result of the incident, employees of Tampa Electric, Gaffin Industrial Services and Brace Integrated Services Inc. perished. Tampa Electric was ultimately cited for failing to follow energy control procedures while performing maintenance on equipment. OSHA cited Gaffin Industrial Services for failing to develop procedures to control hazardous energy.

Both were cited for failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment to protect employees from burns. Both companies are now facing proposed penalties of $160,972. No citations were issued against Brace Integrated Services. The companies will have 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference or contest the findings. Additional details regarding the findings can be found here.

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