OSHA fines Puerto Rico power company after fatal explosion
14 December 2014
On December 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a total of 50 citations and fines of $359,000 following an explosion last July that killed two workers and seriously injured two others at a San Juan power station belonging to Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
In response, PREPA executive director Juan F. Alicea Flores made the following statement:
“The Puerto Rico OSHA citations were based on inspections following the incident last July 13, 2014, at the San Juan power station. The Authority is in the process of evaluating them to decide on the best course of action to follow according to OSHA regulations.
“However, it is imperative to note that all work performed by PREPA is governed by strict safety protocols established by federal and state laws. Following the recent incidents, we have taken a number of positive steps to determine the precautionary measures required to guarantee safe working conditions for all employees.
“Operating procedures have been reviewed, power station staff retrained and an outside firm specializing in forensic investigation has investigated the San Juan incident.
“The Justice Department technical report concluded that a series of human errors were the cause of the incident, so we have developed an Occupational Safety Culture Program aimed at raising awareness among employees of the need to change risky behaviors.
“The external firm, Dupont, is evaluating our security program to identify opportunities for process improvements to ensure safe operation at all times. Dupont is a global leader in the development of safety cultures to ensure safe operation in high-risk enterprises.
“We have a genuine commitment to ensure that our most valuable resource, our employees, should be able to work in a safe and healthy environment free from occupational incidents.”