“Perhaps when some of the TECO executives are hauled off in handcuffs, they will start to take worker safety seriously.”
TAMPA, Fla – May 16, 2018 – Ryan Torrens, consumer protection attorney and Democratic candidate for Florida Attorney General, pledged to initiate a criminal investigation into Tampa Electric Company (TECO) executives when he is elected. The investigation would be regarding a June 2017 incident at the Big Bend power plant in which five workers and a sixth was injured after molten slag poured onto them.
“Five workers died, and another was injured due to TECO’s willful disregard for worker safety,” said Torrens. “So far TECO has only received a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine! This is not enough and will not cause TECO to take worker safety seriously. A criminal investigation must be launched into TECO for this and perhaps when some of the TECO executives are hauled off in handcuffs, they will start to take worker safety seriously.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined TECO a total of $139,424 for a willful violation of safety rules and for failing to provide its workers with protective safety gear. OSHA has the authority to refer the case to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation, but to date there have been no reports that this has happened.
“TECO uses money from the bills its customers pay to buy political influence and has been making significant contributions to candidates for Florida Attorney General. As the only candidate in this race refusing even a penny in campaign contributions from TECO, when attorney general, I will launch a criminal investigation into TECO’s epic failure to take worker safety seriously,” said Torrens as he headed to the Hillsborough County Courthouse Wednesday morning.
Torrens lauded the Tampa Bay Times for its investigative reporting on TECO’s failure to take worker safety seriously. “I applaud the Tampa Bay Times for uncovering the profound failure by TECO to take the safety of its workers seriously. I agree with the Tampa Bay Times that civil fines are not enough, and a criminal investigation must be launched! If OSHA and our Department of Justice will not do what’s right, as attorney general, I will.”
Torrens has been campaigning across the State of Florida, all the while fighting for his clients as a consumer protection lawyer. He says that he is running to put the Attorney General’s office back on the side of consumers again.
You can find more about Ryan Torrens and his campaign at RyanTorrens.com.