A McGriff client in the restaurant industry had a water backup issue in one of their locations. Employees were asked to mop up a small amount of water that had gathered by a drain in the floor and a plumber was contacted to identify and repair the problem. One of the employees involved in the clean-up process later told his parent that he had been “asked to clean up sewage” and had been “walking through sewage at work.” The parent contacted the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) resulting in an onsite visit to the restaurant and a $6,280 fine for exposing employees to raw sewage without proper equipment. Concerned about how this false information could impact their reputation and not sure where to turn, the client reached out to a risk control consultant with McGriff Risk Solutions to assist.
After reviewing the OSHA report, the McGriff risk control consultant set up a meeting to discuss the circumstances with the plumber and the client’s safety managers. They determined that the clog was between the floor drain and an oil water separator. And it was the floor-cleaning process that had turned the water gray. So the risk control consultant:
- Reviewed the OSHA requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) and the applicable Safety Data Sheets
- Verified proper PPE was used and included in the client’s procedure
- Helped the client prepare a PPE assessment and submit it to OSHA as a part of the abatement process
- Consulted with the client to ensure they had a good understanding of the circumstances and the OSHA requirements
- Participated on an informal conference call with OSHA and the client’s safety manager to discuss the fine
The safety manager was well prepared by the consultant to convey all the facts on the OSHA call and how they had responded according to proper procedure. The client received notification soon after the call that all penalties were dropped and the case would be closed. Grateful for the support provided by McGriff, the client was pleased to know they had the right procedures in place to ensure employee safety and validate their reputation as a quality food service provider.
Disclaimer: Individual results will vary.
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