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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release OSHA-04-2390-DAL
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
HOUSTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations and proposed penalties of $82,500 to Piping Technology and Products Inc. in Houston for exposing workers to a variety of workplace hazards.
Piping Technology, which employs about 400 workers and produces piping accessories, received citations from OSHA for one alleged willful, nine alleged serious and two alleged repeat violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA's investigation began July 7 in response to a complaint.
"OSHA is committed to reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and to protect the safety of all workers," said Chuck Williams, OSHA area director in Houston. "OSHA investigators found a number of violations and this employer has a history of 16 previous OSHA inspections dating back to 1985."
The willful citation was issued for failure to protect workers and other persons from exposure to welding rays through the use of screens or shields. A willful violation is defined as an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the OSHA law and regulations.
The nine alleged serious violations include failing to provide fall protection to employees operating an aerial lift; failing to provide explosion-proof wiring within 20 feet of paint spraying areas; failing to provide eye protection when exposed to flying particle hazards; and exposing workers to live electrical parts. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Two alleged repeat violations were cited for failing to remove damaged slings from the work area and failing to protect employees through the use of machine guards. Repeat violations are those where the employer has been previously cited for a substantially similar condition within the past three years. Piping Technology has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Houston OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about safety and health standards can call OSHA's Houston South Area office at (281) 286-0583 or the Houston North Area office at (281) 591-2438. Employees or others can call 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing an imminent danger to workers.
In the 2004 fiscal year, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted more than 39,000 inspections. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. 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.
The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc). Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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