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Steel Structure Supplier Fined $72K

Thursday, April 19, 2012

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A manufacturer of steel substation and transmission structures is facing $72,000 in fines and 14 federal safety violations related to combustible dust and other hazards at its plant in Louisiana.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dis-Tran Steel LLC and Dis-Tran Wood Products Holdings LLC with the safety and health violations for hazards to workers at their shared facility in Pineville, LA. The companies are subsidiaries of Pineville-based Crest Industries Inc. Proposed penalties for both companies total $72,000.

 Dis-Tran Steel and Dis-Tran Wood Products employ more than 300 workers who manufacture steel utility poles and wooden cross arms.
Dis-Tran Steel and Dis-Tran Wood Products employ more than 300 workers who manufacture steel utility poles and wooden cross arms.

OSHA opened an inspection at the facility on Oct. 18, 2011, under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program and its national emphasis programs on amputations, primary metals, hexavalent chromium and combustible dust.

Serious Citations

Dis-Tran Steel, which employs about 295 workers who manufacture steel utility poles, was cited for six serious violations, including lack of machine guarding, strain relief on the cords of electric hand controls and screens to protect workers from rays produced by welding operations in adjacent areas. One other-than-serious violation alleges failure to ensure electrical cords are equipped with ground pins.

Dis-Tran Wood Products, which employs about 10 workers who manufacture wood cross arms for utility poles, was cited for five serious violations, including failing to provide dust-tight electrical enclosures to prevent wood dust explosions, provide access to an emergency eyewash station and ensure that the live parts of an appliance are enclosed. Two other-than-serious violations allege failure to provide guardrails on fixed stairs and properly maintain exposed electrical wiring.

Serious violations reflect “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“Employees were exposed to welding rays, which can cause serious eye injuries,” said Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge. “OSHA’s standards must be followed to prevent injuries and illnesses. Fortunately, no one was injured in this case.”

Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the citations.

The companies did not respond to a request for comment.

   

Tagged categories: Health and safety; Hexavalent chromium; OSHA; Steel; Transmission Towers; Violations

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