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


Download our free Bridge Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

OSHA Fines MT Tank Maker $75K

Monday, January 7, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Spray area and confined-space hazards, improper resin storage and a variety of other dangers have led to a dozen federal safety citations and a $75,600 fine against a Montana tank maker.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fiberglass Structures Inc. for 11 serious violations and one repeat violation for alleged hazards discovered during an August inspection at its plant in Laurel, MT.

L.F. Manufacturing

Tank and vessel maker Fiberglass Structures, a subsidiary of L.F. Manufacturing, is facing 12 OSHA violations and $75,600 in fines.

A subsidiary of Texas-based L.F. Manufacturing, Fiberglass Structures makes molded composite and fiberglass reinforced plastic products. The company fabricates large storage tanks and processing vessels, corrosion-resistant piping, and a line of resins for aggresive environments.

Violations 'Unacceptable' 

The repeat violation, carrying a fine of $12,600, accuses the company of not containing energized wires with covers in a flammable area.

A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited for the same or a similar violation within five years. OSHA cited a similar violation at the company's Waycross, GA, facility in 2009.

“Something is seriously wrong when an employer repeatedly disregards specific safety standards required to protect workers from serious injuries or death,” said Jeff Funke, director of OSHA’s area office in Billings, MT.

“Neglecting the safety of workers is simply unacceptable."

Serious Violations

Inspectors found 11 serious violations, carrying a $63,000 penalty.

Those citations accuse the company of:

  • Storing an organic peroxide catalyst in a combustible fiberglass structure, several feet from incompatible flammable resin, or next to a flammable liquid outside of a storage structure;
  • Applying flammable and combustible liquids in spraying areas that contained electrical equipment, overhead lights with exposed bulbs, and overhead radiant gas heaters with exposed piping and hot surfaces;
  • Using power cords as permanent power and leaving them strewn among containers of flammable liquids;
  • Not requiring skin protection for workers using chopped fiberglass and hazardous chemicals;
  • Not requiring eye protection or an eye wash station for workers spraying resin solution and organic peroxide catalyst;
  • Not testing the atmosphere before sending employees to work inside tanks;
  • Inadequate confined-space training, systems and emergency rescue resources; and
  • Exposing employees to air embolisms while using compressed air nozzles with approximately 86 psi to clean floors and blow dust and debris off their clothes and skin.
Fiberglass Structures Inc.

An official of L.F. Manufacturing questioned why the alleged violations were found in August but the company wasn't notified until December.

Citations are 'Ludicrous'

Fiberglass Structures did not respond to a request for comment.

However, an official with parent company L.F. Manufacturing questioned the findings and the timeliness of OSHA's report, according to The Laurel Outlook.

Bernard Ofczarzak, regulatory compliance manager, called the violations “ludicrous,” saying, “That’s not how this company operates, and that’s not how FSI operates.”

Ofczarzak said the management teams were committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment.

“Two of our three Texas plants are within OSHA’s SHARP program, which is where we are actually exempt from OSHA inspection because of stellar safety records,” said Ofczarzak.

SHARP, the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, recognizes employers who operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program.

Ofczarzak also questioned why the company was not notified until December of violations allegedly uncovered in August.

OSHA's records show no other citations issued against either Fiberglass Structures or L.F. Manufacturing. The records also confirm L.F. Manufacturing's SHARP status.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the findings.


Tagged categories: Confined space; Fiberglass; Health and safety; OSHA; Personal protective equipment; Resins; Spray systems; Tanks

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

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!


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

Graco Inc.
Graco Mortar Pump

The M680 sprays epoxy-based mortars, anti-skid coatings, cementitious and filled materials. Compact.
Easy to use.
Call 877-844-7226 or

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
SSPC 2016 Register Now!

SSPC2016 is earlier this year, don't forget to book your plane tickets and hotel. See you soon. For more information visit

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.

CS Unitec
Peening Preparation Tools

CS Unitec’s hand-held scarifiers are an ideal alternative to small-area shot blasting for cleaning and preparing concrete & metal surfaces.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films

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.

AGC Chemicals
The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is the LUMIFLON® Coatings Poster Child

LUMIFLON based coatings can last up to 30 years without fading, reducing life-cycle costs, re-application or replacement of underlying surfaces.

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

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