Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-08-2-2
Wed., Feb. 2, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA CITES AMERICAN RAILCAR INDUSTRIES, INC., IN LONGVIEW, TEXAS,
WITH PROPOSED FINES OF $303,500
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Railcar
Industries, Inc., in Longview, Texas, with 24 alleged safety and health violations and proposed
penalties of $303,500, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
American Railcar Industries refurbishes railcars such as tankers and employs about 99
workers at its Longview facility. American Car and Foundry is the parent company of four
American Railcar Industry facilities that employs about 200 workers.
The citations resulted from an OSHA investigation that began Aug. 4, 1999 from a
complaint that expanded into a comprehensive inspection.
OSHA cited the company with three willful, 20 serious and two other-than-serious violations.
The three willful violations were for failure to provide and require the use of a complete fall
protection system while employees were engaged in work on the top of rail cars; an inadequate
rescue capability for employees performing work in the confined space of a railcar and for an
inadequate assessment of confined spaces within railcars. Confined space is defined as a space that
is large enough for an employee to enter but has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit, such
as tanks, and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. A willful citation is defined as an
intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and
The majority of the 20 serious violations were for confined space entry hazards. Other serious
citations were issued regarding hazards associated with the refurbishing of railcars and unsafe
scaffolding, welding and electrical hazards. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial
probability that death or serious physical harm could result.
The two other-than- serious violation was for incomplete record keeping and defective tires
on a fork lift.
"Employees who enter a confined space could be exposed to an environment that is oxygen
deficient or could contain hazardous materials that could potentially asphyxiate them," said
Katherine Delaney, OSHA District Director in Dallas. " The employer did not practice procedures
which determined whether the environment of the confined space, especially when work inside can
disturb its surfaces, was potentially hazardous to the employees."
American Railcar Industries has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply,
request an informal conference with the area director or to contest the citations and proposed
penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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