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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OSHA News Release: [07/02/2012]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 12-995-DAL

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Spa Pipe and Supply of Abilene, Texas, for exposing workers to electrical and machine guarding hazards

ABILENE, TexasThe U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Spa Pipe and Supply LP, doing business as Smith Pipe of Abilene, with six serious and six repeat violations for exposing workers to electrical, compressed gases and amputation hazards. The citations follow an investigation by OSHA's El Paso Area Office that began in January under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program that directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces where high injury and illness rates occur. Proposed penalties total $129,800.

The serious violations are failing to properly utilize electrical components as labeled, ensure electrical circuits were adequately maintained, provide required machine guarding, and ensure the labeling of compressed gases. A serious citation is issued 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.

The repeat violations include failing to ensure compressed gas cylinders and valves were properly secured, install and properly adjust work rests and tongue guards on bench grinders, and repair or replace damaged welding leads. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2011.

"This is not the first time this company has jeopardized the safety of its workers by exposing them to potential hazards," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in El Paso. "OSHA's standards must be followed to safeguard the workplace, and prevent injury and illness."

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SPAPipeandSupply_315714493.pdf.

Abilene-based Spa Pipe and Supply, an oil tank manufacturing company that employs about 385 workers statewide, has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in El Paso or contest the citations and proposed 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 call the agency's El Paso office at 915-534-6251.

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.