SWEETWATER, Texas -- For exposing workers to struck-by, electrical and unguarded machine hazards, Texas TST Inc. is being cited for 13 safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Proposed penalties total $47,600.
Initiated as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates, the investigation by OSHA's Lubbock Area Office resulted in citations issued for failure to secure compressed gas cylinders, provide strain relief on electrical circuits and repair damaged welding cables.
The company also failed to enclose or guard sprockets and chains located seven feet or less from the floor, and to keep workers from being struck-by aluminum metal chips from an unguarded machine and grinders. These OSHA regulations are frequently violated by employers. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
'Where machine guarding and electrical hazards are concerned, making the necessary changes to comply with OSHA standards can mean the difference between life and death,' said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA's area director in Lubbock. 'This employer did not take the steps necessary to keep workers safe during the performance of their daily duties.'
Texas TST Inc., an aluminum refinery that produces secondary ingot, slab and sow, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Lubbock District Office at 806-472-7681.
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. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.