Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-98-86-10-9
Friday, Oct. 9, 1998
Contact: Diana Petterson or Beverly Sepulveda, (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
MILLAR ELEVATOR SERVICE CO. OF DALLAS CITED FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT WORKERS; PENALTIES SET AT $315,000
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Millar Elevator Service Co. of Dallas for alleged violations of safety regulations which require the company to protect workers from harmful exposures to unexpected releases of energy and entry to confined spaces during elevator repair work. The company faces penalties of $315,000.
The citations resulted from an OSHA inspection which began in April following an employee fatality during elevator repair activities. Millar Elevator performs service and repair activities on elevators and escalators.
"It is the company's responsibility to protect its workers on the job," said OSHA Regional Director John B. Miles. "A worker lost his life in a tragic accident and his family has lost a loved one. We insist that the safety and health of workers be as important to a company
as its earnings."
OSHA cited the company, which is a subsidiary of Schindler Elevator and has corporate offices in Holland, Ohio, with four willful and five serious violations addressing employee exposure to unexpected energization of equipment and entry to confined spaces.
When repair or maintenance work is performed on equipment which can release energy (such as unexpected movement, electrical or pneumatic energy) OSHA regulations require that employees be protected from that energy through a control procedure commonly referred to as "lockout/tagout."
Lockout/tagout calls for turning off equipment during servicing and maintenance work and locking or tagging the energy sources so it cannot be restarted until the lock or tag is removed by the person who attached it to the system or by a supervisor and all stored energy is released before work begins. Additionally, when employees perform work in hazardous and confined spaces, certain safeguards are required. The citations list deficiencies in the employer's approach to both lockout/tagout procedures and confined space entries.
A willful violation is defined as an intentional disregard of safety standards. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious harm could result.
Millar Elevator has been involved in more than six OSHA inspections in the past five years, with five involving work fatalities and another involving serious injury during repair activities. These inspections resulted in the issuance of nineteen violations, with several of these violations also addressing lockout/tagout procedures.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.