Not an “accident”: Timothy Dubberly, 58, suffers fatal work-related injury in Fernandina Beach, FL

Timothy Dubberly, 58, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Friday, July 15 while working for Kinder Morgan at the Port of Fernandina. KTXL reports:

  • Mr. Dubberly was doing electrical work on a crane.
  • “It appears a [crane] cable snapped, causing the operations cab he was in to fall about 100 feet.”
  • the accident occurred at the Kinder Morgan Nassau Terminal.

Kinder Morgan is the “largest energy infrastructure company in North America.” The firm operates 180 terminals including one at the Port of Fernandina.

Using OSHA’s on-line database, federal OSHA and the States that operate their own OSHA programs have conducted nearly 40 inspections of Kinder Morgan sites since January 2013. Thirteen of the inspections resulted in violations and penalties, but none involved crane safety. Last September a Kinder Morgan employee, Thomas Gary Counts, was killed on the job while working at the Total
Petrochemicals’ Port Arthur refinery. Counts, 57, drowned in a scalding pit of wastewater. Kinder Morgan paid a $7,000 penalty for one serious violation for the incident that took Count’s life.

The AFL-CIO’s 2016 Death on the Job report notes:

  • OSHA has 63 inspectors in Florida to cover more than 510,000 workplaces.
  • With that number of inspectors, it would take 266 years for OSHA to inspect each workplace in the State just once.
  • The average penalty for a serious violation in Florida is $2,365.
  • The median penalty amount for a work-related fatality occurring in Florida is $7,000.

OSHA has until mid-January 2017 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole the life of Timothy Dubberly. It’s likely that OSHA will determine that his death was preventable. It was no “accident.”