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Fla. worker trapped in hot liquid asphalt

Rescue took eight hours

A Florida construction company employee suffered severe burns to his legs and feet after becoming tripped in hot liquid asphalt – an incident in September, 2013 which has earned his company OSHA citations for ten serious safety and health violations. Proposed penalties are $63,360.

The worker had entered the hot liquid asphalt tank in order to cut out a section of piping. After he became trapped by the tar-like substance, it took eight hours to rescue him.

OSHA found that Jacksonville-based Atlantic Coast Asphalt failed to follow permit-required confined space entry and lockout/tagout procedures to ensure all hazards were identified, documented, measured and controls put in place prior to the employee entering the space. The employer also exposed workers to entrapment, thermal and chemical burn hazards.

Atlantic Coast Asphalt manufactures and distributes hot-mix asphalt to various residential and commercial customers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 209 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

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