US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Abilene, Texas,
manufacturing facility for multiple safety and health hazards
ABILENE, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued SPA Pipe and Supply LP in Abilene, doing business as Smith Pipe, 20 serious and two other-than-serious citations after an inspection at the company's facility on Highway 277. The inspection, initiated Aug. 2, 2010, found that workers were being exposed to electrical deficiencies, possible leakage that could lead to a fire or explosion and other violations with the potential to cause injuries. Proposed penalties total $45,600.
"This company exposed its employees to preventable workplace hazards," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in El Paso, Texas. "Employers must provide a safe and healthful working environment for their employees."
Serious citations allege failure to ensure compressed oxygen and acetylene gas cylinders were stored separately, ensure overhead cranes were periodically inspected, ensure exposed live electrical wires were de-energized, and train employees on hazard communication and permit-required confined space entry procedures. A serious citation is issued 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.
The other-than-serious citations allege failure to ensure enough toilets were available for the number of employees working at the facility and to ensure that first aid kits were adequately stocked. 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.
Smith Pipe, an oil tank manufacturing company that employs about 180 workers at its Abilene facility, has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in El Paso or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA's Lubbock District Office conducted the investigation. Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's El Paso Area Office at 915-534-6251 or the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) to report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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 assure 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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.