US Labor Department's OSHA cites tank cleaning service for confined space
hazards at Lansing, Ill., facility; proposed fines exceed $142,000
LANSING, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dedicated TCS LLC with 11 safety and health, including two willful, violations, primarily for failing to protect workers in confined spaces. OSHA opened an inspection of the company's Lansing facility, which cleans tank trailers, upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards. Proposed penalties total $142,100.
OSHA's permit-required confined space standard establishes procedures to protect workers who must enter, work in or exit spaces with configurations that hinder their activities. In addition, the configurations of such spaces may increase workers' exposure to hazards such as entrapment, engulfment and/or hazardous atmospheric conditions, which can lead to serious physical injury, illness or death.
"A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy, which makes monitoring workers' activities in these spaces vital to their safety and health," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."
The willful violations, both safety, involve failing to provide a mechanical lifting device that could help rescue workers from confined spaces as well as an attendant to monitor the safety of workers operating within permit-required spaces. 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.
Most of nine serious safety and health violations relate to the confined space standard. These include failing to test conditions; provide appropriate explosion-proof lighting; review entry operations; verify permit entries, such as required tests and procedures; sign permits to authorize entry; provide training for the safe performance of duties in confined spaces; and certify that training has been accomplished. The violations also include failing to provide hazard communication and personal protective equipment training for workers exposed to contact with corrosive chemicals. 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.
Lansing-based Dedicated TCS also has facilities in Channahon and New Orleans, La. The Channahon facility was cited in September for eight serious violations primarily related to permit-required confined space hazards.
The current citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Dedicated_TCS_415682_1101_12.pdf.* The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Calumet City Area Office at 708-891-3800. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. 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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.