| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free BWater Works Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Silica, Cr(VI) Trigger OSHA Case

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Excessive silica and hexavalent chromium exposures to abrasive blasters and painters lead a lengthy list of federal health and safety violations against an Alabama tank and pressure vessel maker that also provides coating, welding and other services.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited S & K Machineworks & Fabrication Co. Inc. for 17 violations following two inspections at the company’s plant in Theodore, AL.

 S&K Machineworks

 S&K Machineworks

S&K fabricates and services storage tanks and pressure vessels for the oil and gas, marine, petrochem, power and energy and general construction markets.

OSHA initially conducted a planned safety inspection at the facility in December 2011 as part of its emphasis programs on preventing amputations and injuries related to powered industrial trucks.

That inspection triggered a health inspection, however, when inspectors spotted the hexavalent chromium and silica issues. Ultimately, the health violations accounted for the majority of the case. Proposed penalties total $50,645.

Serious Violations

The facility drew 11 serious health violations—meaning the hazards carried “substantial probability” of death or serious injury—and $43,400 in fines for painters', blasters' and welders' exposure to hexavalent chromium and silica, both of which can cause irreversible health problems.

OSHA said the company also lacked both an effective hearing conservation program and respiratory protection program.

S&K was also cited for three serious safety violations, with $6,545 in fines, for:

• Floor openings that risked fall hazards;

• Lack of machine safety guards on an abrasive wheel; and

• Unused openings in cabinets, boxes and fittings that exposed workers to electrical hazards.

Three “other-than-serious” violations were also issued, alleging:

• Failure to maintain  a complete log of injuries and illnesses, a violation that carries a $700 fine; and

• Use of an improper electrical conductor and of a pressure vessel in the abrasive blasting yard that was missing the proper markings and pressure gauge. No fines were issued for these allegations.

“Companies must protect employees from both immediate and long-term hazards,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. “Employers need to take proactive measures to prevent exposure to hazards, rather than wait for an OSHA inspection.”

About the Company

S&K fabricates and services storage tanks and pressure vessels for the oil and gas, marine, petrochem, power and energy and general construction markets. In 2009, the company bought Coastal Fabrications Inc.

The company did not respond Thursday to a request for comment. S&K has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the citations.


Tagged categories: Citations; Exposure conditions; Health and safety; Hexavalent chromium; OSHA; Silica; Tanks and vessels

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.

RPB Respiratory

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead

US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste money on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint

CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s Vibro-Lo low-vibration scalers offer high performance for greater productivity & improved operator comfort. Optional dust shroud.

Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
The Sidewinder Model M2 Solvent Recycler

Combat the rising cost of gunwash, thinners, acetone & more while drastically reducing waste disposal coat.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail