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The owners of an American roofing company have been released from jail on bonds, on the proviso they pay outstanding occupational health and safety (OHS) fines and rectify alleged OHS violations.

Guillermo Perez and Elma Maldonado, president and vice-president of GP Roofing & Construction, LLC, Palm Coast, Florida, allegedly wilfully and repeatedly violated US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) fall protection, eye and face protection, safe ladder and other standards, according to an OSHA media release.

They were arrested on 16 June after they failed to pay OSHA fines of US$195,170 plus interest and fees, and failed to rectify the alleged OSHA violations, OSHA said. They appeared before Magistrate Judge James Klindt, US District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville.

They were released from custody on 23 June on signature bonds. “Conditions of their release included surrendering Perez’s passport and limiting their travel to the state of Florida,” OSHA said.

“Perez and Maldonado were also given 30 days to work on paying all outstanding penalties or demonstrating inability to pay and certifying that they have abated the OSHA violations cited in prior inspections.”

The final hearing is scheduled for 26 August 2015.

For more details, visit OSHA

Published on 2 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A Victorian abattoir has been convicted and fined $250,000 following the death of a driver in September 2013.

The driver was using a hoist on the loading ramp at the abattoir when the hoist broke apart above him and the ramp collapsed, said WorkSafe Victoria in a media statement. He sustained severe head injuries and died several weeks later.

The abattoir in Stawell was prosecuted and pleaded guilty for breaching Victorian occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.

Leanne Hughson, Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety at WorkSafe Victoria, said in a media statement that the design of the hoist, a lack of maintenance and poor driver training in relation to the loading ramp and hoist contributed to the incident.

“The court heard that when a new loading ramp and safety mechanism was installed at the abattoir in 2010, the hoist lug was moved 300mm. However, the new position made it more susceptible to fatigue damage, stress and corrosion,” WorkSafe said in a media statement.

On top of this, the company had failed to get an expert opinion before moving the lug, failed to regularly inspect the hoist system, and failed to put in place a system to train, direct or induct drivers in the use of the loading ramp and hoist, Worksafe added.

For more details, visit WorkSafe Victoria

Published on 18 June 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.


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