US Labor Department's OSHA cites Murphy Wall Products International
for exposing workers to multiple safety violations at Houston facility
HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fort Worth-based Murphy Wall Products International Inc. with 11 serious, three repeat and one other-than-serious violation for exposing workers to safety hazards at its Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $90,090.
OSHA's Houston North Area Office initiated an inspection on Jan. 4 at the company's Rittenhouse Street location as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for injuries with high injury and illness rates. Multiple safety violations were found while employees were using forklifts to move products, lifting materials with a crane and operating box compactors.
The serious violations include failing to replace a hook latch on a crane; remove an industrial truck with damaged tires from service; provide required machine guarding for fan blades, pulleys and belts; ensure that a general duty safety switch is properly used; and properly label breaker panels. 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 repeat violations involve failing to provide machine guarding for the bench grinder and its adjustable tongue. 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. Similar violations were cited in 2009.
The other-than-serious violation involves inadequate electrical cord strain relief. 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.
"This is not the first time this company has jeopardized the safety of its employees," said David Doucet, director of OSHA's Houston North office. "Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful environment for their workers."
Murphy Wall Products International, which employs about 14 workers, manufactures wall compounds, paints and primers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA Houston North 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 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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.