Week of Jul 26-Aug 1

KY Contractors Facing More than $700K in fines

OSHA has cited five contractors for safety and health violations after three employees were killed and two others critically injured following an explosion aboard a towboat in Calvert City, Ky., on Jan. 19, 2018. The five companies collectively received 55 violations with proposed penalties totaling $795,254.

The companies cited are:

  • First Marine LLC (also placed in OSHA’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 .

OSHA’s news release said its investigation determined the explosion occurred when employees were cutting and welding in an atmosphere containing flammable gases.

The contractors were cited for the following violations:

  • Failing to test confined spaces before entry, train workers on confined space entry operations, and label 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.

OSHA has cited Wilmington Fibre Specialty Company Inc. for exposing employees at its New Castle, Del., facility to workplace safety hazards. The company faces $146,152 in proposed penalties.

OSHA personnel inspected the facility in December 2017 after an employee suffered an injury while using an improperly guarded punch press and had three fingers subsequently amputated.

OSHA cited the company for inadequate machine guarding and failing to use lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy, as well a failing to report the incident and previous amputations to OSHA as required.