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$500k fine for Tampa Electric

In deadly 2017 industrial accident, molten slag fatally burned 5 workers

Five years after a tragic industrial accident at the Big Bend Power Plant caused five worker fatalities., a federal court has ordered Tampa Electric Co. to implement a safety compliance plan, retain an auditor, serve probation. and pay a half-a-million-dollar fine.

The accident took place while workers were performing maintenance on equipment. OSHA determined that a blockage inside a coal-fired furnace broke free, spewing fiery molten slag into the work area. In addition to the five deaths, a sixth employee sustained serious burns.

Tampa Electric and two contractors – Gaffin Industrial Services and Brace Integrated Services Inc. employed the workers.

Both TECO and Gaffin were cited for failing to follow energy control procedures and failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment. OSHA additionally found that Tampa Electric failed to train employees or on-site contractors on new slag tank water blasting procedures.

The Department of Justice prosecuted the case, and Tampa Electric pleaded guilty to willfully violating the related OSHA standards.

@WFLA video from 2017:

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