Aug. 29, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710
RICHMOND, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Matrix Metals LLC's Richmond Foundry for allegedly failing to protect its employees from safety and health hazards and has proposed penalties totaling $96,000.
"This company has exposed its employees to unsafe working conditions," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "It is fortunate in this case that no one was injured."
Following a health inspection that began March 5 and a safety inspection on March 12 at the company's facility on Collins Road in Richmond, OSHA issued 33 serious and seven other-than-serious violations. The Houston-based company, a supplier of castings for steel valves, and oilfield, locomotive and construction equipment, has about 325 employees at its Richmond Foundry.
Serious health violations include failing to perform a personal protective equipment assessment and not providing appropriate personal protective equipment to protect against hazards including silica, total dust and open flames; train employees on the hazards of excessive exposure to noise and the use of hearing protection; and perform an evaluation of respiratory hazards. A serious violation is one with the potential to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Serious safety violations include failing to provide machine guarding on a band saw, bench grinder and other power-driven tools; implement procedures and training for safe, permit-required confined space entry; provide specific energy control procedures; ensure the safe operation and condition of powered industrial trucks; and perform frequent inspections of overhead cranes.
The other-than-serious violations relate to the company's failure to complete OSHA injury and illness logs, and not labeling and identifying 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 or the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.
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.