Region 6 News Release: DOL-OSHA-10-830-DAL
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth Todd
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites manufacturing company for
9 serious safety violations following fatality at El Paso, Texas, worksite
EL PASO, Texas - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Schneider Electric, doing business as Square D, in El Paso for alleged workplace safety violations following the electrocution fatality of a worker at the company's facility on Northwestern Drive.
"Employees deserve a safe workplace," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in El Paso. "If the company had followed OSHA's standards to ensure that testing equipment was free of electrical hazards, this tragedy could have been avoided."
OSHA's El Paso Area Office began its inspection on Jan. 21 after a worker was electrocuted when he grabbed the test leads on a shop-made cart the company used to test equipment. The investigation found that Schneider Electric, which employs about 160 workers at its El Paso facility, exposed workers to various electrical hazards during the testing process of equipment the company manufactures.
OSHA has cited the company with nine serious violations including failing to ensure personal protective equipment was tested and maintained; to ensure that workers who were testing the equipment wore proper electrical rated gloves, footwear and/or fire resistant clothing; to provide written procedures for equipment testing; to ensure that qualified employees were allowed to work on energized electrical parts or equipment, and to ensure that all electrical openings in boxes were properly covered and closed. 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.
Proposed penalties total $42,300.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in El Paso, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and workers with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call the El Paso Area Office at 915-534-6251 or OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
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 assure 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.
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