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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-05-1277-DAL
Monday, July 25, 2005
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 cited TIBC & Rentals and proposed penalties totaling $61,200 for safety violations following the investigation of two fatalities last January in Houston.
OSHA began its investigation Jan. 22 when a worker involved with cleaning a tractor trailer tank at the company's worksite on 702 Old Underwood Rd. in La Porte collapsed from inhaling carbon monoxide. Both he and the worker who tried to rescue him died. TIBC & Rentals, a rental transportation and storage company, employs about 15 workers, three of whom were at the LaPorte worksite. Citations against the company alleged 37 serious and one other-than-serious violations.
"If TIBC had followed OSHA's health and safety standards for confined spaces, it is possible this tragedy could have been avoided" said Chuck Williams, OSHA's area director of the Houston South area office. "Employers must provide a safe and healthful working environment and ensure that employees are protected from hazardous conditions."
The alleged serious violations included failing to: inform employees about the hazards of entering a confined space; train workers on the proper use of respiratory equipment; prevent exposure to carbon monoxide when entering a vessel, and provide a hazard communication program. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The other-than-serious violation was cited because the company failed to maintain OSHA injury and illness logs.
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.
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.
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