Last week, OSHA announced it has cited Sherman Brothers Trucking Inc., of Crossett, Arkansas, for 11 safety and health violations, “including one willful, for deficiencies of its permit-required confined space program.”
OSHA began investigating the company after a temporary worker, who was cleaning the inside of the tanker without proper training, was found unconscious in the tanker. The worker died of asphyxiation.
“Confined spaces can potentially contain hazardous atmospheres. In this case, the employer failed to implement all aspects of a confined space program, including training its workers,” said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA’s area director in Little Rock. “This lack of regard for worker safety is unacceptable and led to a loss of life.”
Sherman Brothers Trucking was cited for failing to maintain air monitoring equipment and to evaluate permit-required confined space conditions prior to the worker entering the tanker.
Seven “serious” violations were issued to Sherman Brothers Trucking for the incident including “failing to guard open floor holes to prevent falling into the next level; stabilize a platform used to access a tanker cleaning area with railings or posts to prevent fall hazards; and train workers on confined spaces and hazard communications. The employer also failed to implement respirator, confined space and hazard communications programs. 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,” OSHA said.
In addition, Sherman Brothers Trucking was issued three “other-than-serious violations,” including availability of confined space training certifications and ensuring drums and totes containing chemicals were properly labeled with hazard warnings.
OSHA has proposed that Sherman Trucking be fined $113,400. The citations can be viewed at:http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Sherman_Brothers_Trucking_903056_1028_13.pdf*.