US Labor Department's OSHA cites steel pipe manufacturing company for
multiple safety and health hazards in Houston, proposes nearly $125,000 in fines
HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tex-Tube Co. with 12 alleged serious, four alleged repeat and 10 alleged other-than-serious violations following an investigation at the company's Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $124,740.
"This company repeatedly has failed to provide a safe and healthful workplace environment for its employees," said David Doucet, director of OSHA's Houston North Area Office. "OSHA's safety and health standards must be followed to prevent injuries and accidents."
OSHA's Houston North office began its investigation on Oct. 5, 2010, at the company's facility on North Post Oak Road, finding multiple safety and health violations. The inspection was part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average injury and illness rates.
The serious violations include failing to cover floor openings to prevent falls, provide periodic testing of lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental energy start-up, have employees wear a seatbelt while operating a forklift and ensure electrical circuits on an overhead crane were enclosed. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Repeat violations include failing to develop procedures for the control of hazardous energy and failing to provide covers for junction boxes. 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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. These same violations were found during April 2007 and January 2006 OSHA inspections.
The other-than-serious violations include failing to properly complete OSHA occupational injury and illness forms, and to provide the required detailed information on the OSHA 300 log. 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.
Tex-Tube Co., which employs about 170 workers and specializes in steel pipe manufacturing, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston North area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Houston North Area Office at 281-591-2438 or its Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583. 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 or 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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.