Region 8 News Release: 11-1389-SEA (11-235)
Oct. 17, 2011
Contact: Michael Shimizu
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Polar Service Center in Billings, Mont.,
for exposing workers to variety of hazards; fines total $151,000
BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Polar Service Center in Billings for one willful and 13 serious violations of safety and health standards for exposing workers to a variety of hazards. The tank trailer service and repair center faces proposed penalties of $151,000.
"Polar Service Center failed to provide its employees with a safe and healthful workplace," said Christine Webb, director of OSHA's Billings Area Office, which conducted the inspection. "The hazards discovered during this inspection are well-recognized and must be addressed immediately to prevent needless injuries or illnesses."
The willful violation was cited for failing to utilize protective guards on equipment. 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.
The serious violations involve failing to implement a confined space program, hazard communication program, hearing conservation program and respiratory protection program for voluntary use of respirators; using a modified crane that was not designed by a professional engineer; and failing to provide ventilation in a confined space during welding operations. 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.
The citations for Polar Service Center can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PolarInc_29160_1007_11.pdf*
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 call the Billings Area Office at 406-247-7494.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.