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Region 6 News Release: 13-2374-DAL
Dec. 12, 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 after a worker is struck by a machine part

HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Piping Technology and Products Inc. in Houston for four repeat and three serious violations after a worker was injured in June from being struck by a broken die piece on a mechanical press. Proposed penalties total $199,800.

The repeat violations, with a penalty of $185,500, were cited for failing to guard punch presses and band saws, provide lockout/tagout training regarding energized sources and conduct an annual review of lockout/tagout procedures. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was previously cited for similar violations in 2011.

The serious violations, with a penalty of $14,300, were cited for failing to secure a fuel gas cylinder, use undamaged slings for lifting and moving equipment and provide strain relief for electrical wiring. A serious violation exists 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.

Piping Technology employs about 700 workers and manufactures pipe supports, clamps and expansion joints for chemical and oil refineries. Twice inspected in 2011, the company was cited for 42 safety and health violations, including failing to guard the point of operations on band saws, shears and press brakes. The company already has been inspected three times in 2013, independent of the current case, and cited for willful and two serious violations including failing to provide machine guarding on two separate occasions and provide abatement documentation. All 2013 citations have been contested while the 2011 cases are settled.

"Piping Technology and Products has again failed to protect its workers from hazards, and again a worker has been injured on the job. OSHA will not tolerate such disregard for workers' safety," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's Houston South area director.

Copies of OSHA citations can be viewed here http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PTP_Citations_2013-912755.pdf*

For more information on lockout/tagout, go to http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/lototraining/index.html and for information on machine guarding, go to http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/machineguarding/index.html.

The company 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.

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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