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OSHA Fines TX Steel Pipe Maker $124K

Thursday, March 24, 2011

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Tex-Tube Co. with 26 health and safety violations and proposed $124,740 in penalties following an investigation at the company’s facility in Houston, TX.



Tex-Tube’s portfolio includes a wide
range of ERW products for onshore line
pipe for the North American oil and gas
exploration and gas transmission markets.

“This company repeatedly has failed to provide a safe and healthful workplace environment for its employees,” said David Doucet, director of OSHA’s Houston North Area Office. “OSHA’s safety and health standards must be followed to prevent injuries and accidents.”

Twelve of the violations alleged are considered serious; four are considered repeat; and 10 are considered other-than-serious. The inspection was conducted Oct. 5, 2010, as part of OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average injury and illness rates.

The company did not return a phone call Thursday (March 24) requesting comment.

Violations: Fall Protection, Electrical

The serious violations include allegedly failing to:

• Cover floor openings to prevent falls;

• Provide periodic testing of lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental energy start-up;

• Have employees wear a seatbelt while operating a forklift; and

• Ensure electrical circuits on an overhead crane were enclosed.

Repeat violations include failing to develop procedures for the control of hazardous energy and failing to provide covers for junction boxes.  The same violations were found during OSHA inspections in April 2007 and January 2006.

The other-than-serious violations include failing to properly complete OSHA occupational injury and illness forms and to provide the required detailed information on the OSHA 300 log.

A serious violation reflects substantial probability that death or serious harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Other-than-serious violations are directly related to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious harm.

About the Company

Tex-Tube Co., which employs about 170 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the case before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Founded in 1945, steel pipe manufacturer Tex-Tube is part of the Villacero Group or Grupo Villacero, based in Monterrey, Mexico. Based near the Port of Houston, Tex-Tube produces tubular steel products that meet both API and ASTM standards and has a manufacturing and distribution capability of more than 140,000 tons annually.


Tagged categories: Health and safety; OSHA; Pipeline; Violations

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