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Region 6 News Release: DOL-OSHA-11-214-DAL
Feb. 22, 2011
Contact: Juan Rodriguez     Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972 850-4709     972 850-4710
E-mail: rodriguez.juan@dol.gov     todd.elizabeth@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Premont, Texas, drilling
waste disposal company for multiple safety and health hazards

PREMONT, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 21 serious citations to Waste Facility Inc. for exposing workers to multiple safety and health hazards following an inspection at the company's facility in Premont. Proposed penalties total $48,000.

OSHA's Corpus Christi Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection on Oct. 12, 2010, following a complaint about the company's facility on West County Road 431 where employees were processing waste materials without the use of respiratory protection or protective eye equipment.

"This company exposed its employees to numerous preventable workplace safety and health hazards," said Michael Rivera, OSHA's area director in Corpus Christi. "OSHA standards must be adhered to in order to avoid injuries and fatalities."

The serious violations include failing to provide guardrails around pits, platforms and stairs; provide appropriate personal protective equipment such as goggles or gloves; develop a respiratory protection program; provide a confined space entry program and procedures; and develop and implement a hazard communication program. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Waste Facility Inc., which employs about 21 workers in Premont, cleans vacuum trucks and fractionation tanks associated with oil and gas operations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Corpus Christi or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Corpus Christi office at 361-888-3428. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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 ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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