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Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-99-57-5-6
Thursday, May 6, 1999
Contact: Diana Petterson or Beverly Sepulveda
PHONE : (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
OSHA PROPOSES $176,400 PENALTY AGAINST NORTH LOUISIANA EXPLOSIVE MANUFACTURER
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Goex Inc. for safety violations as a result of a dual explosion that occurred at their production facility and headquarters near Minden, La., where one employee was fatally injured. The proposed penalties totaled $176,400, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
The OSHA investigation began in response to an accident that occurred on November 5, 1998, at the production plant, where one employee, the assistant line operations supervisor, was killed.
"The company has had at least seven fatalities as a result of other accidents that took place at former plants in Pennsylvania and Arkansas since 1986," said OSHA Baton Rouge area director Robert Holmes. "Employers must ensure the safety of their employees and provide a working environment that minimizes the risk of accidents."
OSHA cited the company for thirteen serious violations, three willful violations and two other-than-serious violations. The three willful violations, with a total proposed penalty of $126,000, were for violations of the process safety management (PSM) of highly hazardous chemicals standard. The thirteen serious violations, with a total proposed penalty of $50,400, were for violations of numerous OSHA standards such as the explosive and blasting agent standard, the PSM standard, the personal protective equipment standard, the lockout/tagout standard, the electrical standards, and the hazard communication standard. The two other-than-serious violations were for violations of the hazard communication standard.
A willful violation is defined as an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result. An other-than-serious violation is one in which a hazardous condition exist and would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and or health of employees.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the area director to discuss the citations or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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