OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-1927-DAL
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
BATON ROUGE, La -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $50,850 on a Baton Rouge pipe manufacturing company for allegedly failing to protect employees from hazardous chemical exposure.
Amitech USA, a pipe manufacturer that employs approximately 100 workers, was cited for 15 alleged serious violations following an OSHA inspection that began May 6 at the company's worksite in Zachary, La. The company uses chemicals and fiberglass to manufacture pipe in two separate processes at the site.
"Workers were exposed to fumes from highly flammable chemicals that were allowed to be released into the air, because containers and equipment were not air tight," said Greg Honaker, OSHA area director in Baton Rouge.
Alleged serious violations include failure to develop, implement, and maintain emergency action procedures and plans; failure to prevent the release of chemical vapors from process equipment inside a manufacturing building; and not establishing and marking hazardous locations about chemical process equipment.
Other alleged serious violations include failure to gather safety information on the technology and equipment involved in the process; failure to analyze potential hazards of the process; not having written operating procedures for the pipe manufacturing process; and failure to ensure the ongoing integrity of process equipment and to safely manage changes to the process.
Further serious citations cover failure to have specific procedures to service and maintain machines and equipment; failure to inspect a fixed fire extinguishing system; and failure to guard hazardous machinery, to adequately label containers of hazardous chemicals; and to adequately train and educate employees on the hazards of chemicals in their work environment. A serious citation is issued for a violation that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees for a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Area Director of the Baton Rouge OSHA office, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about job safety and health standards can call the Baton Rouge OSHA area office at (225) 298-5458 or, OSHA's hotline at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. 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.
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.
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