David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is speaking out with heated words after a temporary worker was recently killed on his first day of work. What's more, an investigation into the accident has uncovered that the temp had not received any training before going out onto the manufacturing floor.
An OSHA release shows that Bacardi Bottling Corp. was hit with 12 alleged safety violations on February 8, which were in response to an August 2012 inspection of the facility that was looking into the death of the temporary worker. The investigation found that Lawrence Daquan "Day" Davis was crushed to death by a palletizer machine at the company's Jacksonville, Florida bottling facility.
"A worker's first day at work shouldn't be his last day on earth," Michaels said. "Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary."
OSHA mandates that all workers - temporary or otherwise - should receive the same supervision and control to keep them safe on the job. The agency found that the accident occurred as Davis was cleaning up glass underneath the machine when a fellow employer turned the factory component on. While lockout/tagout methods, which can prevent such an accident, are in place at the factory, Bacardi failed to properly train the temporary worker on these procedures.
"We are seeing untrained workers – many of them temporary workers – killed very soon after starting a new job. This must stop," said Michaels.
A legal document released by OSHA noted that the accident occurred on August 16, and in addition to the lack of training, a host of other safety violations were uncovered.
While some have claimed that the use of temporary labor exposes workers to such conditions, somefirms now use a managed labor approach, ensuring operations managers are on the floor with temps that hold employers accountable for safety. This, along with intense safety training, is helping transform the staffing industry.