GLADSTONE, Mo. - A federal agency has fined AT&T for failing to adequately protect its employees, citing the murder of technician Kevin Mashburn while on a service call last September.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration pointed out the amount of time between when the 58-year-old reported being attacked to the response from AT&T dispatchers in its citation.
READ THE OSHA CITATION | http://bit.ly/16eNNKT
AT&T can contest the citation, but it has to inform authorities of its plans within 15 business days of the notice, which came down Feb. 27. The company was penalized $7,000 in the citation.
Mashburn died on Sept. 19 after being attacked outside his employer-issued vehicle. Arriving officers found him inside his AT&T utility truck. He had worked for the company for 41 years.
There was a 19-minute delay from the time Mashburn told AT&T dispatchers he was attacked to when they responded. It was 50 minutes before emergency responders could find him.
RELATED | 911 transcript chronicles confusion in finding injured AT&T tech http://bit.ly/STLfrD
The citation notes that AT&T could install panic buttons in the vehicle that would send a signal to emergency responders. Those responders could then use GPS to locate the vehicles.
But AT&T denies OSHA's claim, and released a statement stating that "OSHA's allegations are at odds with the facts."
"Mr. Mashburn had multiple devices by which he could communicate his situation, including a company-issued cellphone and a company laptop with instant messaging capability," Chris Lester, with AT&T media relations, told 41 Action News in an email Friday night.
He added that GPS location data is accurate only with about 100 yards, and would not have provided more accurate data in finding Mashburn.
But that response doesn't satisfy Mashburn's son, William Mashburn.
"Having a little keyboard to type on, it wouldn't be enough ... he had that method of communication, and look what happened," he said.
"(AT&T is) one of the world's largest telecommunications companies. I'm sure they can come up with something," he added.
Police arrested Bryan Middlemas for Mashburn's murder. He pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree attempted robbery. A judge told Middlemas he could face up to two life sentences or the death penalty for the crime.