The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Billings, Montana general contractor and a Rock Springs, Wyoming, subcontractor for exposing workers to numerous safety hazards, causing an employee to suffer severe burns. The companies face $249,516 in proposed penalties.
On May 5, 2017, a Coleman Construction Inc. employee suffered third-degree burns when compressed oxygen inside an underground duct caused a fire. The subcontractor was cited for failing to provide mechanical ventilation or an underground air monitoring system, and failing to report the hospitalization of the burned employee in a timely manner. The company faces $189,762 in proposed penalties. OSHA requires employers to notify them of any workplace death within 8 hours, and other serious incidents, such as employee hospitalizations must be reported within 24 hours.
OSHA also cited the general contractor, JTL Group, doing business as Knife River, for not ensuring that safety precautions were taken at the worksite. Proposed penalties total $59,754.
“Confined workspaces pose an immediate and substantial danger to workers,” said OSHA Area Director Arthur Hazen, in Billings. “It is vitally important that employers properly identify, test, control, and ventilate the atmosphere to ensure the safety of workers in confined spaces.”
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
If you have questions about OSHA requirements that apply to your organization or in your industry, or health and safety in general, please call Paul Serafini at Sotera Consulting, LLC at (612)597-6463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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