Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site



Clemco Industries Corp.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

MT Contractor Cited in Worker's Death

Friday, March 15, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

A Montana paving contractor is facing 16 federal health and safety violations, including one willful violation, in the death of a worker who slipped from the top of a tank and struck his head on the concrete pad below.

William "Bill" Irby Jr., 54, of Corvallis was not wearing fall protection while checking some measurements atop a tank that lacked a guardrail Sept. 12  when he slipped and fell 15 feet, hitting his head at M.R. Asphalt Inc., near Hamilton, authorities said.

The circumstances surrounding Irby's death, and other conditions discovered on the ensuing inspection, resulted in the citations, which carry $54,000 in fines, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Wednesday (March 13).

William (Bill) Irby Jr.

William "Bill" Irby Jr., 54, wore no fall protection while working on a tank without a guardrail.

A request to the company Thursday (March 14) for comment was not immediately returned.

Willful, Serious Violations

The willful violation involves failure to provide a guardrail or fall protection on the working surface. Willful violations are OSHA's highest level of infraction, reserved for violations "committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements." One count may carry a fine up to $70,000; here, the violation carried a $28,000 penalty.

In this case, the tank top is considered an open-sided floor or platform and falls under OSHA's floor openings standard.

"By ignoring fall protection requirements, this employer showed plain indifference and intentional disregard to worker safety," said Jeff Funke, director of OSHA's Billings Area Office. "Employers who knowingly expose workers to life-threatening hazards will be held fully accountable."

No Bathroom, No Soap, No Monitoring

Thirteen serious violations include a variety of hazards, from failing to evaluate hydrogen sulfide exposure to forcing employees to drive to a gas-station bathroom that was more than a mile away.

The allegations include failure to:

  • Provide workers with information and training on hazardous chemicals;
  • Provide adequate toilet and hand-washing facilities; and
  • Protect workers from moving parts, such as horizontal shafts, drive systems, rotating chains and sprocket assemblies.
Emergency - MySafetyNews
ICW Group

OSHA requires employers to report a fatality within eight hours. In this case, the agency says, M.R. Asphalt did not do so. The company received 16 citations.

Other violations allege multiple instances of electrical hazards and leaving defective ladders in service.

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

OSHA also cited the company for failure to report the death within eight hours as required and for inadequate record-keeping. OSHA said M.R. Asphalt did not note the death on its OSHA records for calendar year 2012.

OSHA records show no other cases involving M.R. Asphalt Inc., which has 15 days to contest the violations.

'Master of Laughter'

An obituary in the Ravalli Republic described Irby as "an avid Harley rider, animal lover and a master of laughter." He and his wife of 24 years moved to Montana in 2008.

The newspaper said Irby had visited Montana as a child and "knew then this was where he belonged."


Tagged categories: Accidents; Enforcement; Fall protection; Fatalities; Health and safety; OSHA; Tanks and vessels

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard Made in the USA

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.

Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques
With our unique LTCat, we can help to provide clean, safe breathing air to your workers. Take a look at our Breathing Air Systems, we supply at least twice as much charcoal as our competitors! Modern

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.

US Minerals
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.

Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. or Call 412-931-6655.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings 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   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us