South Florida Farm Cited for Exposing Employees to Lightning Strikes

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PARKLAND, FL — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited C.W. Hendrix Farms Inc. for failing to protect workers from recognized hazards after lightning struck and killed an employee at the Parkland, FL, farm.

OSHA inspectors determined that Hendrix Farms exposed employees to lightning strikes as they picked vegetables in inclement weather. The company faces a penalty of $12,934, the maximum amount allowed.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had trained management and employees on the hazards of working in severe weather,” said OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director Condell Eastmond.

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.

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. 

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