The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a fine to an Illinois truck and trailer repair company after a worker died from chemical injuries sustained while inspecting a tanker trailer.

B & R Repair of Lemont, Illinois, was fined $326,306 for exposing workers to confined space hazards following an OSHS investigation into the death of a 48 year old employee, the agency said on September 8.

According to OSHA, the worker entered the tanker “as part of an annual U.S. Department of Transportation requirement and was overcome from exposure to bleach and chlorine gas. The worker was found unconscious in the tanker-trailer, he later died of his injuries.”

Investigators cited B & R Repair for two willful and ten serious violations.

OSHA detailed the violations discovered during the investigation:

B & R Repair … failed to identify and evaluate atmospheric hazards in the confined space, train workers on the confined space program, and ensure employees filled out a confined-space permit before entry into a confined space. OSHA also found the employer failed to equip the worker rescuing the unconscious employee with a retrieval system, implement its own procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services, and numerous other violations of its permit-required confined space regulations. The company was also cited for failing to provide fall protection to an employee working on top of tanker trailers and provide training on fall hazards, respirators and hazard communication.

“In recent years, OSHA investigated instances in which workers suffered tragic injuries because employers failed to follow appropriate procedures for ensuring healthy atmospheric conditions inside a confined space and use of adequate respiratory protection before allowing workers to enter tanks,” explained OSHA Area Director Jacob Scott in Naperville. “The company must immediately review its confined space procedures, emergency action plans and provide additional training to protect workers on the job.”

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