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OSHA Regional News Brief
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Region 6


Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

 

 

Sept. 14, 2015

 

 

Extreme heat claims day laborer's life at metal recycler
OSHA cites Al Star Recycling in Houston for five serious violations

Employer name: Al Star Recycling LLC in Houston, Texas

Citations issued: Sept. 9, 2015

Investigation findings: OSHA's Houston North Area Office cited the employer for a serious violation for failing to implement a heat management program for all workers exposed to excessive heat outdoors. The other four serious violations were for failing to provide forklift training, not implementing a hazard communication program and failing to guard a pedestal grinder that exposed workers to struck-by hazards. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated the June 2015 inspection after receiving information pertaining to the death of a 59-year-old Hispanic man who was hired for the day to sort aluminum cans outdoors. New workers are particularly susceptible to heat hazards before they have time to acclimatize.

Proposed penalties: $13,800

Quote: "Al Star Recycling failed to educate its workers about heat illness and take the necessary precautions to protect them, and a worker died because of it. This was a preventable loss of life. The employee was new to this workplace, and new employees are particularly vulnerable to heat illness," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in the Houston North office.

Citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/ALStarRecyclingLLC_1073468.pdf

Information: Al Star Recycling operates two metal recycling centers in Houston and has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Houston North Area Office at 936-760-3800. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Diana Petterson, 972-850-4710, petterson.diana@dol.gov
Juan Rodriguez, 972-850-4709, rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Release Number: 15-1794-DAL


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