A worker at a Jacksonville, Fla., asphalt plant went through a harrowing eight-hour ordeal during which he was stuck standing in hot tar. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the operator of the plant, Atlantic Coast Asphalt, with 10 serious health and safety violations.
The federal agency defines serious violations as those that create a substantial possibility of injury or death in situations that workers either knew of or should have known of. Atlantic Coast Asphalt is a supplier of asphalt products to both commercial and residential customer in the southeastern part of the country.
OSHA, in a press release, says that a total of $63,360 in fines are being assessed. Now, Atlantic Coast Asphalt has 15 business days from the date of its receipt of the citations to either comply with OSHA’s findings or to contest them. Alternatively, the company can request a conference with the area director for OSHA that works out of Jacksonville.
A Difficult Rescue
The accident occurred in September 2013 when the worker went into a liquid asphalt tank with instructions to cut out a particular section of pipe. In the course of doing the work, he got stuck in the hot tar. By the time a rescue crew was able to extricate him from the liquid asphalt tank, eight hours had passed. By then, he had suffered burns to both legs and both feet.
A Preventable Incident
The Jacksonville area director for OSHA stated that the incident could have been avoided if certain confined space procedures that require permits had been followed, and if lockout/tagout procedures had been properly followed as well.
The workers compensation laws in every state address the needs of workers injured in workplace accidents. Also, in certain cases, a worker may consider the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. Such a suit is filed in civil court, and it typically asserts that negligence was a factor in an accident causing injury.