Region 6 News Release: 10-943-DAL (412)
July 8, 2010
Contact: Michael Wald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Enbridge G&P in Douglasville, Texas,
following worker fatality from release of hydrogen sulfide
DOUGLASVILLE, Texas - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Enbridge G&P (East Texas) LP with two alleged willful and five alleged serious violations following a chemical release at the company's Bryans Mill plant in Douglasville, which resulted in a worker's death.
"Employees working around hazardous materials must be assured of a safe and healthful environment," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas, Texas. "If this employer had developed and implemented safe work practices, as required by OSHA standards, it is possible this tragic incident could have been avoided."
OSHA began its investigation on Jan. 10 following the fatality that occurred when four workers were replacing a faulty valve on the waste heat boiler in the sulfur plant. One employee died and another was left in critical condition when hydrogen sulfide was released from the boiler.
The willful violations were issued for failing to develop and implement safe work practices for workers who process equipment or piping or who are exposed to airborne concentrations of hydrogen sulfide in excess of 50 parts per million, and for failing to provide workers with the required personal protective equipment. In this case, the company did not provide respirators. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Alleged serious violations include failing to review current operating procedures; to inform contract workers of the known potential fire, explosion or toxic release hazards related to the contractor's work; and to use flame resistant clothing when breaking lines, valves and/or opening equipment. 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.
For these violations, OSHA has assessed penalties totaling $152,100.
Enbridge G&P has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Dallas, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Dallas Area Office at 214-320-2400 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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.