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Region 6 News Release: 13-1844-DAL
Sept. 24, 2013
Contact: Diana Petterson      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
Email: petterson.diana@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Pasadena, Texas, tank cleaner cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for
failing to protect workers from chemical hazards
Rucker Environmental Services LLC cited for 33 violations and penalties of $83,300

PASADENA, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Rucker Environmental Services LLC, doing business as All Type Environmental Cleaning & Repair, for 33 safety and health violations with a proposed penalty of $83,300. A complaint inspection began in March at the Pasadena facility on Bay Area Boulevard, where tanks are cleaned with a variety of chemicals.

Some of the 21 serious violations cited include failing to properly contain, segregate and store chemicals; test confined spaces and provide a rescue plan; train workers and provide information on hazard communications; train and certify powered industrial trucks; correct various electrical hazards; provide emergency eyewash and shower stations; provide personal protective equipment, such as respirators; and properly test air quality and provide fall protection for workers performing cleaning tasks at elevations more than 4 feet above a lower level. A serious violation occurs 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.

Some of the 12 other-than-serious violations include failing to provide an inhalation exposure assessment for respirators; conduct noise exposure assessments; provide training on hazardous waste operations and emergency response standards; properly calibrate confined space test equipment; provide first aid training and equipment; train and assess workers on benzene exposure; and properly label hazardous chemical containers. 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.

"The employer is responsible for safeguarding workers from toxic and explosive hazards during chemical tank cleaning," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "Thankfully, these serious safety and health violations were found before any catastrophic or fatal incident occurred."

Rucker Environmental Services has 15 business days from receipt of the current 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.

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 Area Office at 281-286-0583 or its Houston North Area 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 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.


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