U.S. Department of Labor Cites Petroleum Refiner and Contractor After Fatality at Alabama Facility
TUSCALOOSA, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Turner Specialty Services LLC and Hunt Refining Co. for safety violations after an employee suffered a fatal injury at a refining facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The two companies collectively face $106,080 in penalties.
The employee asphyxiated when he lost air supply while working in a confined space. OSHA cited Turner Specialty Services LLC – an industrial contractor – for failing to ensure personnel outside the permit-required confined space were capable of providing effective rescue. OSHA also cited the contractor for allowing an employee to enter the permit-required confined space with insufficient lighting equipment, and for assigning members of the rescue team other duties that prevented them from responding to an emergency event.
OSHA cited Turner Specialty Services LLC and Hunt Refining Co. – a petroleum refiner –for failing to ensure that the confined space entry permits identified all hazards of the space, and document that all the steps required to ensure the employee's safety in a confined space were completed. OSHA also cited Hunt Refining Co. for failing to ensure, through periodic evaluations, that Turner Specialty Services fulfilled their obligations as specified in the Process Safety Management standard.
"Employers should never allow workers to enter a space without properly evaluating the hazards and following required safety standards associated with entry," said OSHA Area Director Ramona Morris, in Birmingham, Alabama.
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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 help 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 https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.