Houston manufacturing plant cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for
failing to protect workers from falls and other hazards; fines total $48,300
HOUSTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Texfab Inc. with 11 alleged serious and two other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to falls and other workplace hazards at its manufacturing plant on Link Drive in Navasota. OSHA's Houston North Area Office began the investigation in March after receiving a complaint. Proposed penalties total $48,300.
The serious violations include a missing latch on a crane lifting hook and fall hazards into a pit and into dangerous machinery. The company also failed to ensure usage of proper personal protective equipment; supply at least grade D air in supply air respirators; equip air respirators with high temperature or carbon monoxide monitors; medically evaluate workers before they wear respirators; evaluate permit required confined spaces; provide a lockout/tagout program to control energy sources; periodically inspect a gantry crane; and provide machine guarding on point of operation for all machines. 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.
The other-than-serious violations involve failing to provide a respirator protection program and fit test respirators. 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.
"Employers must recognize the hazards that exist in their workplaces and then develop safety and health procedures to protect workers on the job," said David Doucet, OSHA's area director at the Houston North Area Office.
Texfab specializes in the manufacturing of cylinders that are later manufactured into pressure vessels for the oil and gas industry, and employs about 10 workers at the Navasota location and about 70 at its Cypress facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and 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), the agency's Houston North office at 281-591-2438 or its Houston South office at 281-286-0583.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.