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OSHA Issues Citations to Publix Supermarket after Jacksonville Employee Loses His Hand

On February 13, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to Publix Supermarket for sixteen safety and health violations after a worker lost his hand while cleaning conveyor equipment at a Jacksonville distribution center in September. OSHA proposed a total of $182,000 in penalties for repeat violations, including failure to create and follow safety procedures, neglecting to adequately train employees on how to use equipment, and refusing to submit OSHA injury reports from 2007-2010.

Based on the supermarket’s repeated violations, OSHA required Publix to participate in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. According to OSHA, previous violations include an employee being crushed by a Publix truck at a Deerfield Beach warehouse in 2007 and unsafe working conditions at another facility in Dacula, Georgia in 2008. As part of the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, Publix will be required to undergo routine follow-up inspections by OSHA.

Publix Media and Community Relations Manager Dwaine Stevens denied that OSHA’s citations are valid and stated that the company will appeal. “In the meantime,” he said, “we are actively working on identifying and addressing any issues that may have contributed to this unfortunate incident and are constantly developing ways to improve our safety performance.”

The Employment Law Group® law firm represents employees nationally who have been exposed to hazardous work conditions.


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