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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-05-988-DAL
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221


OSHA Proposes $107,250 in Penalties Against Houston-based Marcus Oil & Chemical for Alleged Safety and Health Violations

HOUSTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations against Marcus Oil & Chemical Inc. of Houston for alleged violations of safety standards. The agency proposed penalties totaling $107,250.

Marcus Oil & Chemical, which produces polyethylene waxes and light hydrocarbons, was cited for one alleged willful and 25 alleged serious violations following an inspection by OSHA's Houston South area office. The inspection, which began Dec. 3 as a result of an explosion and fire at the plant, found that employees were operating pressure vessels without adequate safety relief devices.

"Employers must follow OSHA's safety standards in order to provide a healthful workplace for employees," said Chuck Williams, OSHA's area director in Houston. "Fortunately, in this case, no one was seriously injured."

The alleged willful violation was for failing to develop and implement safety practices for the control of hazardous chemicals. 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 included failure to: provide adequate storage of compressed gas and oxygen cylinders and polyethylene waxes; repair or replace defective forklifts and ladders; correct electrical deficiencies, and provide storage space for fire extinguishers. The company also violated the terms of OSHA's Process Safety Management Standard for highly hazardous chemicals by failing to conduct an initial process hazard analysis and compliance audit and develop written operating procedures.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA Houston South area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

For information regarding workplace safety and health standards, call OSHA's Houston South Office at (281) 286-0583 or OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742. Workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing an imminent danger to workers may also be reported through the toll-free hotline.

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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