Week of Aug 2-8

Fatal Kentucky Shipyard Towboat Explosion

OSHA has cited five contractors for safety and health violations after three employees were fatally injured and two others critically injured following an explosion onboard a towboat in Calvert City, Kentucky. Proposed penalties total $795,254.

OSHA cited the following businesses:

  • Ship repair contractor First Marine LLC – this company has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program;
  • Insulation contractor Thermal Control and Fabrication Inc.;
  • Temporary staffing companies Hutco Inc. and Day Help LLC (doing business as Wise Staffing Group); and
  • Blasting and painting contractor Joe Rupcke. First Marine LLC

The investigation determined that the explosion occurred when employees were cutting and welding in an atmosphere containing flammable gases.

Violations include the following:

  • Failing to test confined spaces before entry;
  • Failure to train workers on confined space entry operations;
  • Not labeling chemical containers;
  • Exposing employees to asphyxiation, fire, explosion, chemical, trip, and drowning hazards; and
  • Allowing hot work/welding to be performed without testing for an explosive atmosphere.

Fatal Fall at Dallas Apartment Complex

A US District Court judge has ordered  Design Plastering West LLC to pay criminal and civil penalties for criminal violations of occupational safety and health standards after an employee suffered a fatal fall at an apartment complex in Dallas.

The court ordered the company to pay a $150,000 criminal fine, $100,000 civil penalty, admit to eight willful violations, and to undergo monitoring by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for four years.

On May 14, 2015, a worker fell from a third-floor balcony while applying stucco without fall protection.

OSHA cited the company for willfully failing to install scaffolding and provide workers with personal fall protection. In May 2018, Design Plastering West LLC pleaded guilty to the willful citation on fall protection.

East Texas Countertop Company Cited for Safety and Health Violations

OSHA has cited Berry Marble Company Inc. – doing business as U.S. Granite – for exposing employees to machine hazards. The Tyler, Texas, natural stone countertop manufacturer faces $318,687 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed:

  • To remove damaged lifting slings from service;
  • To train workers in lockout/tagout procedures;
  • To review the company’s lockout/tagout procedures;
  • To complete a hazard assessment; and
  • To provide employees with adequate hand protection. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in May 2015.

Maryland Contractor Cited for Dozens of Electrical and Machine Guarding Violations

Maryland OSHA has issued 26 citations and $82,800 in penalties to Stulz Air Technology Systems, Inc., for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards. The company failed to train workers on the control of hazardous energy, ensure workers wore required protective clothing when testing energized equipment, and install guards on punch presses and press brakes.

TN Contractor Fined for Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards

OSHA has issued two citations and $51,200 in penalties to M&K Home Improvement for exposing workers to fall hazards.

Inspectors concluded that the company failed to train workers on fall hazards and fall protection, and did not provide required guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.

Drilling Rig Operators Fined in Fatal Explosion

OSHA has cited Patterson-UTI Drilling, Crescent Consulting LLC, and Skyline Directional Drilling LLC for exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards after five employees were killed in an explosion.

OSHA Oklahoma City Area Office Director, David Bates, said in a statement, “These employers failed to properly control hazards involved in oil and gas extraction activities, and the result was tragic”, adding, “employers are required to monitor their operations to ensure workplace health and safety procedures are adequate and effective.”

OSHA cited all three companies for failing to ensure that heat lamps in use were approved for hazardous locations. Fines from resulting penalties total $118,643, the maximum allowed for violation of the OSHA standards.