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Jacksonville Ship Repair Company Fined Following OSHA Investigation Into Employee Drowning

North Florida Shipyards Inc. in Jacksonville and Atakorah Padmore

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is fining a Jacksonville ship repairer $271,061 after the death of an employee this year.

North Florida Shipyards Inc. has about a week left to contest the fine.

In a40-page report, OSHA laid out many safety violations against the company — some of which were directly related to the death of 34-year-old Atakorah Padmore in January.

Inspectors in February concluded employees were exposed to drowning hazards because of improperly maintained equipment. Padmore drowned in the St. Johns River after an air pressure valve malfunctioned and struck him.

“As this case demonstrates, it is important for employers to identify existing hazards, and follow required safety procedures to protect workers from serious injuries,” said OSHA Jacksonville Acting Area Office Director Buddy Underwood in a news release.

The North Florida Shipyard company has 15 days from when the citations were issued — about a week ago — to contest them with an independent review board, accept them as they are or request an informal conference with OSHA.

The company can contest individual items, the entire report or the fines assessed. North Florida Shipyards had several workplace violations last year and a complaint was filed the year before, according to ournews partner News4Jax.

The company did not respond to an interview request by this story’s deadline.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.