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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-05-772-DAL
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221


Confined Space Hazards at Nowata, Okla., Worksite Bring OSHA Citations and Fines Totaling $62,550

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations against Cunningham Sandblasting and Painting Co. Inc. with proposed penalties totaling $62,550. The fines were assessed for alleged safety violations following an investigation at a company worksite on Highway 60, Road 409 in Nowata, Okla.

Cunningham Sandblasting and Painting, headquartered in Joplin, Mo., employs about 25 workers, two of whom were at the worksite. The company was issued citations for two alleged willful and 17 alleged serious safety violations following an OSHA inspection that began Dec. 20, 2004. Employees were painting the inside of a water tower without the use of respiratory equipment, exposing workers to a hazardous condition.

"Health and safety standards must be followed to protect employees from injuries and fatalities," said James Brown, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City. "Fortunately, in this case no one was seriously injured."

The two willful citations were issued for failing to complete an entry permit prior to entering a confined space, which includes information such as air monitoring and instructions to follow in case of emergency, and failing to use retrieval systems when entering confined spaces. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The alleged serious violations include failure to: provide cages on ladders, repair damaged scaffolding, require the use of personal protective equipment such as fall protection harnesses, and train employees on the use of respirators. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious injury could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Oklahoma City area office at (405) 278-9560 or OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.

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.


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U.S. Labor Department 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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor 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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