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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-01-81
July 10, 2001
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
OSHA PROPOSES $63,000 IN PENALTIES AGAINST APPLE FABRICATION INC., DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS, FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS
DALLAS-The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Apple Fabrication Inc., in Duncanville, Texas, with four alleged violations and a penalty totaling $63,000 for exposing employees to atmospheric hazards.
The alleged violations were discovered during an OSHA investigation that began on Jan. 9, 2001, in response to a fatality. The employee was killed after being overcome by trichloroethylene vapors while working inside a steel rinse tank. The employer was cited with two willful and two serious violations.
The alleged willful violations included failure to implement the confined space entry procedures. Employees who enter and work inside rinse tanks must follow a precise series of steps to control hazardous conditions before entry. The employer also allegedly did not perform air monitoring or require employees to wear respirators. A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The two serious violations were for not having an attendant present when employees entered into the steel rinse tanks and for not implementing procedures for summoning rescue. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from the violation.
"The employer, knowing the hazards associated with the chemicals used during the tank lining operations, repeatedly allowed the employees to work inside these steel rinse tanks without using any safety procedures or equipment," said Kathryn Delaney, Dallas OSHA area director.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the nearest OSHA office. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
Apple Fabrication has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations, to either comply request an informal conference with the Dallas OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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