June 13, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710
PASADENA, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited U.S. Oil Recovery and proposed penalties totaling $54,000 for alleged safety violations.
OSHA issued the citations alleging twenty-three serious and two other-than-serious violations following an investigation that began Jan. 3 at the company's facility in Pasadena. U.S. Oil Recovery, which specializes in sludge management services to refineries, cleaning and hauling services for oil waste products and the storage of universal and non-hazardous wastes, employs about 25 workers at the Pasadena location.
"In order to avoid workplace injuries, employers must follow OSHA's health and safety standards, said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "The inspection revealed that the company failed to do this."
Serious violations include failing to: provide machine guarding on belts and pulleys; identify confined spaces as well as having a procedure for summoning rescue personnel during confined space entries; provide energy control procedures; and provide adequate washing facilities for employees working with corrosives. A serious violation is one with potential to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The other-than-serious violations related to the company's failing to provide OSHA injury and illness logs and failing to label and identify hazardous chemicals. Other-than-serious violations are issued when a violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, 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 can contact OSHA's Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583. A toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.