News Release USDL: 95-359
Contact: Lola DeGroff, (202) 219-8151
OSHA Proposes Nearly 0.5 Million Dollars In Fines Against
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA)today
proposed $448,500 in penalties against Trinity Industries,
Caruthersville, Mo., for alleged safety violations that resulted
in two fatalities.
The two employees suffered fatal burn injuries at the barge
manufacturing facility while performing welding operations inside
a confined space which had just been painted. The accident
occurred on March 8, 1995. OSHA initiated its inspection two
days later, but was forced to obtain an administrative search
warrant in order to continue the inspection.
The Caruthersville facility was cited for seven willful
violations which included lack of a firewatch inside and an
attendant outside of the confined space; lack of an established
rescue team; failure to exercise proper precautions while welding
operations were performed on combustible surface coatings;
failure to report the fatalities within eight hours; failure to
perform inspections and tests for flammable and toxic
atmospheres; inadequate employee training regarding chemical
hazards and working in confined spaces; and fire extinguishers
unavailable for immediate use.
The company was also cited for four serious violations
alleging it did not have a competent person properly trained
relative to the requirements and hazards of working in confined
spaces; inaccurate recordkeeping of inspection and tests taken of
confined spaces; unsafe electrical equipment; and fire
extinguishers not available for instant use.
The company, owned by Trinity Industries, Inc., is a
nationwide corporation with businesses in both the railroad and
marine industries. Trinity Industries, Inc., has a long-
standing record of OSHA inspections, citations and litigation.
In other incidents OSHA also had to obtain warrants to conduct
investigations at the firm's facilities. In this incident, the
company failed to honor the administrative search warrants and
failed to comply in full with the subpoenas served on them.
Following a hearing on the administrative warrant, the U.S.
magistrate ordered Trinity to allow the investigation to
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and
Health Joseph A. Dear said, "For a company to put workers at risk
and then obstruct an investigation is completely intolerable.
OSHA will continue to vigorously enforce the law against
employers like Trinity Industries, Inc. who disregard worker
safety and health."
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional
disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
A serious violation is one in which there is substantial
probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and
the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and
proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and
Health Review Commission.
Summary Of Citations And Penalties Trinity Industries, Inc.
Alleged Willful Violations
Failure to report the fatality within eight hours.
Failure to perform inspections and tests for flammable and
Inadequate employee training regarding chemical hazards and
working in confined spaces.
Lack of a firewatch inside and an attendant outside of the
Lack of an established rescue team.
Failure to exercise proper precautions while welding
operations were performed on combustible surface coatings.
Performing welding functions in an area where flammable
paints created a hazard.
Total Proposed Penalties For Alleged Willful Violations
Alleged Serious Violations
Lack of properly competent person trained in the
requirements and hazards of working in confined spaces.
Inaccurate recordkeeping of inspection and tests taken of
Suitable fire extinguishers not available for instant use
Unsafe electrical equipment.
Total Proposed Penalties For Alleged Serious Violations
Grand Total Of Proposed Penalties