OSHA cites MillerCoors for electrical hazard violations

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited MillerCoors LLC in Golden, Colo., with 10 alleged safety and health violations from two investigations involving the death of one and the injury of two workers.

OSHA launched an investigation into the company's safety and health practices following the death of an employee at the brewery February 2. A second investigation opened following an accident April 9 in which two employees were injured.

Together, the investigations disclosed one alleged willful and nine alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act's regulations governing electrical hazards. OSHA alleges that workplace conditions contributed to two employees being burned by an electrical arc flash April 9. Furthermore, agency officials allege that inadequate safety measures were in place to protect against electrical hazards at the time of the February 2 accident; however, the Jefferson County coroner's office could not determine if those conditions contributed to the final cause of death.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the worker who died as well as the two injured workers," said Greg Baxter, OSHA's regional administrator in Denver. "At the time of both accidents, the company's procedures for dealing with electrical hazards were inadequate. MillerCoors needs to take the necessary steps to eliminate electrical hazards in its workplaces.

The alleged willful violation stems from the company's failure to ensure the use of appropriate electrical protective equipment when employees were working on or near energized electrical parts. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The serious violations relate to inadequate safe work practices and failure to ensure adequate personal protective equipment was available and used by employees working on or near energized equipment. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

OSHA proposes $128,500 in penalties against the company for the alleged violations.

MillerCoors has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Englewood, Colo., or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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