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Region 6 News Release: 11-689-DAL
May 24, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Little Rock,
Ark.-based pipe manufacturer following death of worker

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Welspun Tubular LLC with one willful and two serious violations following the death of a worker at the company's Little Rock facility.

"This company has been cited by OSHA twice in a six-month period for jeopardizing the safety of its employees," said Carlos Reynolds, director of the agency's Little Rock Area Office. "It is tragic that the employer's negligence has resulted in the death of a worker."

OSHA's Little Rock office initiated a safety inspection on Dec. 22, 2010, at the company's facility on Frazier Pike following a report that a worker was crushed to death by being caught between two pipes on a conveyor. The Mumbai, India-based company is a worldwide pipe manufacturer that employs more than 20,000 workers globally, with about 400 at the Little Rock facility.

The willful citation was issued for failing to provide the required machine guarding to ensure workers are protected from being caught between pipes on a conveyor while the pipes are being manufactured. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Serious safety violations include failing to ensure open floor holes were repaired to protect workers from falling. A serious citation is issued 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.

Based on a separate inspection that preceded this fatality, in January, OSHA cited Welspun Tubular for serious and other-than-serious safety and health violations for a variety of workplace hazardous conditions. Those violations carried penalties totaling $88,000.

For the violations cited following the latest inspection, proposed penalties total $82,100. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and 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 Little Rock Area Office at 501-224-1842 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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