US Labor Department's OSHA fines Dis–Tran Steel and Dis–Tran Wood
Products of Pineville, La., for exposing workers to safety and health hazards
PINEVILLE, La. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dis–Tran Steel LLC and Dis–Tran Wood Products Holdings LLC, two subsidiaries of Pineville-based Crest Industries Inc., with a total of 14 safety and health violations for exposing workers to combustible dust, electrical, welding and other hazards. Proposed penalties for both companies total $72,000.
OSHA opened an inspection on Oct. 18, 2011, at the companies' shared facility on Cenla Drive in Pineville as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, as well as its national emphasis programs on amputations, primary metals, hexavalent chromium and combustible dust.
Dis–Tran Steel, which employs about 295 workers who manufacture steel utility poles, was cited for six serious violations including a lack of required machine guarding, strain relief on the cords of electric hand controls and screens to protect workers from rays produced by welding operations in adjacent areas. One other-than-serious violation is failing to ensure electrical cords are equipped with ground pins.
Dis–Tran Wood Products, which employs about 10 workers who manufacture wood cross arms for utility poles, was cited for five serious violations, including failing to provide dust-tight electrical enclosures to prevent wood dust explosions, provide access to an emergency eyewash station and ensure that the live parts of an appliance are enclosed. Two other-than-serious violations are failing to provide guardrails on fixed stairs and properly maintain exposed electrical wiring.
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. 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.
"Employees were exposed to welding rays, which can cause serious eye injuries," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "OSHA's standards must be followed to prevent injuries and illnesses. Fortunately, no one was injured in this case."
Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Baton Rouge Area Office at 225-298-5458.
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.
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.