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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-02-182
Wed., Nov. 20, 2002
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
Repeated Exposure of Workers to Safety Hazards
OSHA Proposes $74,400 in Penalties
BAYTOWN, Texas -- A steel manufacturing firm failed to properly maintain its overhead cranes and hoisting equipment and follow safety standards to prevent hazardous conditions, according to citations issued to SAW Pipes USA Inc. by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing penalties of $74,400 against the company.
OSHA began an investigation of the company's facilities May 24, following a complaint. SAW Pipes USA received citations for 17 alleged repeat violations, including failing to overhaul and repair defective overhead cranes and hoisting equipment, failing to train and protect workers against unexpected energization of equipment and release of stored energy (lock out/tag out) and failing to perform annual audits of the lock out/tag out program.
"SAW Pipes employees were in danger of having heavy steel plate and pipe dropped on them, because of the faulty cranes and hoists," said Raymond Skinner, area director of OSHA's Houston South area office. "OSHA standards are designed to keep equipment in good order and prevent accidents."
A repeat violation occurs when the same or similar violation for which the company has been previously cited is found again upon re-inspection.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The investigation was conducted by the Houston South OSHA office, 17625 El Camino Real, Suite 400, Houston, Texas. Phone: (281) 286-0583.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov.
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