OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 News Release: 08-291-BOS/BOS 2008-064
Thurs., March 6, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Hazards found at True Blue Environmental Services locations in Northampton, Mass. and Danbury, Conn.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- True Blue Environmental Services, a Wallingford, Conn., environmental remediation company, faces a total of $95,750 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for allegedly failing to protect employees against hazards at jobsites in Northampton, Mass., and Danbury, Conn.
The bulk of the hazards were at the former Northampton Manufactured Gas Plant in Northampton. OSHA found that True Blue supervisors and employees removing coal tar from contaminated soil at that location had neither received the required training nor been certified to safely perform their duties.
Additional hazards included: employees overexposed to benzene, a hazardous substance contained in the coal tar, and inadequate controls to reduce their exposure levels; no initial air monitoring to determine exposure levels; no detailed evaluation of the site to identify hazards and necessary protective measures; no onsite safety and health supervisor; respirator deficiencies; and failure to record all workplace injuries.
"OSHA's safety and health requirements for hazardous waste cleanup are detailed and stringent because of the highly hazardous nature of this work," said Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director in Springfield. "It is imperative that employers provide and document proper and effective training to ensure that employees can perform their duties correctly and safely."
Conditions at the Northampton site resulted in OSHA issuing three willful and six serious citations to True Blue. An additional willful citation was issued for the company's failure to provide site-specific electric safety training to employees performing remediation work at an electrical substation in Danbury.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Springfield Area Office (telephone 413-785-0123).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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