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Pipe Company Faces 25 OSHA Citations, $88K Fine

Monday, February 7, 2011

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 25 citations and proposed $88,000 in fines against Welspun Tubular LLC for alleged violations at its pipe manufacturing and coating facility in Little Rock, AR.

Welspun Tubular is a subsidiary of Welspun Corp Ltd., based in Mumbai, India. The manufacturer employs more than 20,000 workers globally, including about 265 workers at the Little Rock facility. The facility produces up to 300,000 tons of SAW pipe each year, primarily for Fortune 100 Oil & Gas companies.

“This company put its workers’ safety and health at risk by exposing them to a variety of hazardous working conditions,” said Carlos Reynolds, director of OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office. “OSHA’s safety standards must be followed to avoid injuries and fatalities.”

Serious Violations

The citations follow a safety and health inspection on Aug. 3, 2010, at the facility. OSHA identified 16 serious and one other-than-serious safety violation, as well as five serious and two other-than-serious health violations.

Serious safety violations include allegedly failing to:

  • Protect workers from struck-by hazards;
  • Determine load capacities of cranes;
  • Provide a self-closing fire door;
  • Provide the required machine guarding equipment; and
  • Ensure lockout/tagout procedures were followed to de-energize electrical equipment.

Proposed penalties for safety violations total $65,000.

Serious health violations include allegedly failing to:

  • Identify respiratory hazards;
  • Provide training in hazard communication; and
  • Provide hepatitis B vaccinations for employees exposed to blood-borne pathogens or other infectious materials.

Proposed penalties for the health violations total $23,000.

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.

Other Citations

The other-than-serious safety violation is for allegedly failing to provide fork truck maintenance. The other health violations are for allegedly failing to adequately complete the OSHA 300 logs with detailed information on work-related injuries and illnesses.

An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the matter before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

OSHA Record

Welspun Tubular LLC, a $150 million nonunion facility, opened in 2009 and has two closed cases with OSHA, according to agency records.

In April 2009, OSHA issued one serious and one other-than-serious citation related to crushed-by and fall hazards. The proposed $1,875 fine was later reduced to $1,000.

In October 2009, OSHA issued four serious citations related to fall hazards and a $10,000 fine against the company. In April 2010, the case was closed with one serious and one other-than-serious violation and a total fine of $4,000.

The company has no other open cases with OSHA.


Tagged categories: Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA; Pipelines

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