US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Enterprise Products
Transportation in Freeport, Texas, following worker fatality
FREEPORT, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Freeport-based Enterprise Products Transportation Co. for 29 serious and three other-than-serious violations following a fatality which occurred at the facility's tank wash operation in Freeport.
"Tank washing operations can involve hazardous procedures," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "If OSHA's safety standards had been followed, it is possible this tragedy could have been avoided."
OSHA's Houston South Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection Feb. 9 at the company's facility on South Gulf Boulevard after receiving a report that a worker had been found, unresponsive, inside a tank trailer that was being prepared to be washed. The employee was removed from the tank trailer by a coworker, but later died.
The serious violations include failing to install and maintain fall protection equipment; provide safe access to work platforms; develop energy control procedures and utilize them during maintenance activities; provide the required respiratory protection for employees performing tank wash work; provide training on the use of powered industrial trucks; and ensure that chemicals were safely stored. 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.
Other-than-serious violations include failing to inspect breathing air cylinders and have them tested, and for failing to determine an appropriate respirator change schedule. 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.
Proposed penalties total $160,000. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director 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 standards can call OSHA's Houston South office at 281-286-0583 or its Houston North office at 281-591-2438. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.