U.S. Department of Labor Cites Florida Landscaping Company After Employee Suffers Fatal Heat-Related Injury
NOKOMIS, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Olin Landscaping – based in Venice, Florida – for failing to protect employees working in excessive heat after an employee succumbed to fatal heat-related symptoms while performing lawn maintenance at a residence in Nokomis, Florida.
The heat index reached between 97 and 103 degrees on August 25, 2018. OSHA cited Olin Landscaping for exposing employees to outdoor heat hazards, failing to protect employees from heat-related illnesses and injuries, and failing to report the workplace fatality to OSHA within 8 hours, as required. The company faces $16,102 in penalties.
"This preventable tragedy underscores the requirement that employers take precautions – such as ensuring access to water, rest, and shade – to keep workers safe while working in extreme heat," said OSHA Tampa Area Office Director Les Grove.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA conducts training and outreach on heat-related workplace hazards every spring and summer. Information on establishing a heat illness prevention program, a video on protecting workers from heat illness, and other suggested best practices, are available on OSHA's heat illness prevention page.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.