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Region 4 News Release: 12-1151-ATL (230)
June 20, 2012
Contact: Michael Wald Michael D'Aquino
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076
Email: d'


Cummings Marine Service in Tennessee cited by US Department of Labor's
OSHA for putting workers at risk by failing to address workplace hazards
Employer faces more than $89,000 in proposed fines for 11 safety and health violations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cummings Marine Service Inc. in Memphis for 11 safety and health violations primarily related to the company's failure to address previously cited hazards. OSHA conducted a programmed planned maritime inspection in February 2009 and initiated a follow-up inspection after receiving a complaint in December 2011. Proposed penalties total $89,420.

Citations with penalties of $60,000 have been issued for two failure-to-abate violations involving the company's failure to develop, implement and maintain a written hazard communication program for workers exposed to various hazardous chemicals as well as provide training on hazardous chemicals. A failure-to-abate violation is one committed when an employer fails to fix or address previously cited hazardous conditions, practices or noncompliant equipment.

Citations with $9,240 in penalties have been issued for two repeat violations that involve failing to secure acetylene cylinders from being knocked over and provide at least 90 feet of rope for life ring buoys. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar citations were issued in 2009.

A citation with a $5,000 penalty has been issued for a willful violation involving failing to establish or implement a written respiratory protection program with work site-specific procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Citations with $15,180 in penalties have been issued for five serious violations, including failing to provide training to workers in confined spaces, provide a basket stretcher in case of an emergency, test and certify a crane is operational, and provide a safe working load chart for the crane operator. Additionally, damaged regulators on oxygen and acetylene tanks were allowed to be used for cutting and welding. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

A citation with no monetary penalty has been issued for one other-than-serious violation: failing to certify confined space training. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"This employer continues to put employees at risk of serious injury or death by failing to implement proper protections," said William Cochran, OSHA's area director in Nashville. "It is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace."

Cummings Marine Service provides maintenance for fuel barges and has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Nashville Area Office at 615-232-3803.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille, or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.