OSHA Penalizes Companies Connected to Fatal Sewer Incident

More than $100,000 in penalties were issued following the investigation into a January incident in Florida where three workers died from exposure to poisonous gas

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Two companies have been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the investigation into the deaths of three workers earlier this year in Key Largo, Florida.

Elway Gray, Louis O’Keefe and Robert Wilson all died Jan. 16 after being overwhelmed by toxic gases in a manhole while investigating reports of a sewage backup. Gray was the first to enter the manhole and become unresponsive, and the same happened to O’Keefe and Wilson when they attempted a rescue. Atmospheric testing after the incident revealed lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide.

OSHA investigators cited Douglas N. Higgins Inc. and its related company, McKenna Contracting, with 10 violations totaling $119,507 in penalties. The violations include failure to purge or ventilate a confined space before entry, exposing workers to an asphyxiation hazard, and not providing necessary rescue and emergency equipment for employees.

Source: Sun News Report


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