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Region 6 News Release: 13-1184-DAL
June 24, 2013
Contact: Diana Petterson      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
Email: petterson.diana@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Houston-based Piping Technology and Products Inc. cited by US Department
of Labor's OSHA for exposing workers to amputation hazards
2 workers had fingers amputated; fines total $70,000

HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Piping Technology and Products Inc. in Houston for one willful violation with a proposed penalty of $70,000 after two workers had fingers amputated in hydraulic presses that were not properly guarded.

"Piping Technology and Products continues to expose workers to unguarded hazardous machinery, even though it has been previously cited for the same violation on various pieces of machinery," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's Houston South area director. "The employer knowingly permitted workers to operate machines without proper guarding. That kind of disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated."

The willful violation was cited for four hydraulic presses that lacked point-of-operation guarding. The lack of point-of-operation guarding resulted in two workers having their fingers amputated. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Piping Technology was inspected twice in 2011 and cited with 42 health and safety violations, including failing to guard the point of operation for band saws, shears and press brakes. The company contested those citations.

The company, which employs about 700 workers, manufactures pipe supports, clamps and expansion joints for chemical and oil refineries. Piping Technology has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

For more information on amputation hazards, please check OSHA's quick card at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/quickcard/amputations_en.pdf*, or for information on machine guarding, go to http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/machineguarding/index.html.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), the agency's Houston South office at 281-286-0583, or the Houston North office at 281-591-2438.

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 exist 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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.


* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


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