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Region 6 News Release: 11-131-DAL
March 3, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd     Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972 850-4710     972 850-4709
E-mail: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov     rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Seaboard International
of Houston with safety violations following worker fatality

HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Seaboard International Inc. with 24 serious and two other-than-serious safety violations following the death of a worker at the company's Houston facility.

OSHA's Houston South Area Office began its investigation on Sept. 14, 2010, at the company's South Freeway facility, where an employee died after a pallet-pulling machine came loose and struck him on the head.

"It is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Mark Briggs, director for OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "If OSHA's standards for health and safety had been followed, it is possible this tragedy could have been avoided."

Serious violations include failing to implement OSHA's standards for the control of hazardous energy, provide a hazard communication program, ensure jib cranes were adequately inspected and properly loaded, provide the required machine guarding, and ensure a pallet-pulling machine and chain used in material handling were maintained and inspected. 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.

Other-than-serious violations include failing to certify the annual summary of injuries and illness. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Seaboard International, a Houston-based oilfield equipment company that employs about 75 workers at its Houston facility, has additional manufacturing, sales and service locations elsewhere in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Proposed penalties for these citations total $79,400. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the agency's Houston South office at 281-286-0583, its Houston North office at 281-591-2438 or the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) to report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.

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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