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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-1758-DAL
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221


OSHA Cites Houston Company For Safety Violations Following Fatal Accident

HOUSTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Koch Specialty Plant Services, a petrochemical maintenance contractor in Houston, for ten alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, following an investigation that began May 25 in response to a fatal accident.

While changing out the trays in a chemical process unit column, a worker was exposed to an open hole and fell to his death.

"OSHA's construction fall protection standards are in place to protect workers, yet this employer failed to comply with the regulations," said Charles Williams, OSHA area director in the Houston south area office.

The alleged serious violations included failing to provide adequate fall protection from openings in the walking-working surface; failing to provide a qualified person to evaluate the feasibility and strength of anchorage points for fall protection devices; failing to provide a uniformed cable ladder when attaching separate ladders; and failing to place the ladder far enough above the working surface. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Proposed penalties total $45,000. Koch Specialty Plant Services has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Houston area office, 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 the OSHA Houston South area office at (281) 286-0583. OSHA's toll-free hotline number may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers at 1-800-321-6742.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections in fiscal year 2003, an increase of more than 2,000 over FY 2002 inspection levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at <http://www.dol.gov>. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL 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.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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