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News Release USDL: 95-359
Contact: Lola DeGroff, (202) 219-8151

OSHA Proposes Nearly 0.5 Million Dollars In Fines Against Trinity Industries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA)today proposed $448,500 in penalties against Trinity Industries, Caruthersville, Mo., for alleged safety violations that resulted in two fatalities.

The two employees suffered fatal burn injuries at the barge manufacturing facility while performing welding operations inside a confined space which had just been painted. The accident occurred on March 8, 1995. OSHA initiated its inspection two days later, but was forced to obtain an administrative search warrant in order to continue the inspection.

The Caruthersville facility was cited for seven willful violations which included lack of a firewatch inside and an attendant outside of the confined space; lack of an established rescue team; failure to exercise proper precautions while welding operations were performed on combustible surface coatings; failure to report the fatalities within eight hours; failure to perform inspections and tests for flammable and toxic atmospheres; inadequate employee training regarding chemical hazards and working in confined spaces; and fire extinguishers unavailable for immediate use.

The company was also cited for four serious violations alleging it did not have a competent person properly trained relative to the requirements and hazards of working in confined spaces; inaccurate recordkeeping of inspection and tests taken of confined spaces; unsafe electrical equipment; and fire extinguishers not available for instant use.

The company, owned by Trinity Industries, Inc., is a nationwide corporation with businesses in both the railroad and marine industries. Trinity Industries, Inc., has a long- standing record of OSHA inspections, citations and litigation. In other incidents OSHA also had to obtain warrants to conduct investigations at the firm's facilities. In this incident, the company failed to honor the administrative search warrants and failed to comply in full with the subpoenas served on them. Following a hearing on the administrative warrant, the U.S. magistrate ordered Trinity to allow the investigation to continue.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear said, "For a company to put workers at risk and then obstruct an investigation is completely intolerable. OSHA will continue to vigorously enforce the law against employers like Trinity Industries, Inc. who disregard worker safety and health."

Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Summary Of Citations And Penalties Trinity Industries, Inc.

Alleged Willful Violations

  • Failure to report the fatality within eight hours.
    $5,000

  • Failure to perform inspections and tests for flammable and toxic atmospheres.
    $70,000

  • Inadequate employee training regarding chemical hazards and working in confined spaces.
    $70,000

  • Lack of a firewatch inside and an attendant outside of the confined space.
    $70,000

  • Lack of an established rescue team.
    $70,000

  • Failure to exercise proper precautions while welding operations were performed on combustible surface coatings.
    $70,000

  • Performing welding functions in an area where flammable paints created a hazard.
    $70,000

  • Total Proposed Penalties For Alleged Willful Violations
    $425,000

    Alleged Serious Violations

    • Lack of properly competent person trained in the requirements and hazards of working in confined spaces.
      $7,000

    • Inaccurate recordkeeping of inspection and tests taken of confined spaces.
      $2,500

    • Suitable fire extinguishers not available for instant use
      . $7,000

    • Unsafe electrical equipment.
      $7,000

    Total Proposed Penalties For Alleged Serious Violations
    $23,500

    Grand Total Of Proposed Penalties
    $448,500


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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