Many Florida residents work in hazardous conditions every day. Between the company and its workers, certain safety measures should be followed in order to reduce the risk of workplace accidents as much as possible. When a company fails to do its part, innocent people suffer and some of them lose their lives.
This was the case in a June 2017 accident that took place at an electric company here in Florida. Five workers lost their lives and one managed to survive, but suffered injuries. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration concluded its investigation into the incident, the agency declared that the power company exhibited an intentional and willful disregard and indifference to the safety of its workers.
The workers were attempting to clear out a tank containing molten slag, which reaches a temperature of at least 1,000 degrees. The unit should have been turned off after approximately eight hours of operation, but this one was left on for at least 13 hours and remained on when the workers attempted to unclog it. The slag spilled out and created a pool six inches deep and approximately 40 feet across. The workers at Tampa Electric Co. had no escape.
OSHA provides guidelines for companies to follow to increase the safety of those put in harm’s way, but if Florida companies fail to adhere to them, incidents like this can occur. The fact of the matter is that these types of workplace accidents should never happen. Not only can lives be cut short, but the families of those who died may be plunged into financial and emotional chaos. Even though the families may pursue workers’ compensation benefits for their loss, they would more than likely prefer that a fatal incident never took place.
Source: tampabay.com, “Editorial: OSHA’s fines for TECO tragedy not enough“, Dec. 28, 2017