Safety Fines for Houston Cylinder Maker

Monday, April 29, 2013 @ 07:04 PM gHale


Texfab Inc. is facing $48,300 in fines for 11 serious and two other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to falls and other workplace hazards at its manufacturing plant in Navasota, TX, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA’s Houston North Area Office began the investigation in March after receiving a complaint.

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The serious violations include a missing latch on a crane lifting hook and fall hazards into a pit and into dangerous machinery. The company also failed to ensure usage of proper personal protective equipment; supply at least grade D air in supply air respirators; equip air respirators with high temperature or carbon monoxide monitors; medically evaluate workers before they wear respirators; evaluate permit required confined spaces; provide a lockout/tagout program to control energy sources; periodically inspect a gantry crane; and provide machine guarding on point of operation for all machines.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations involve failing to provide a respirator protection program and fit test respirators. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Employers must recognize the hazards that exist in their workplaces and then develop safety and health procedures to protect workers on the job,” said David Doucet, OSHA’s area director at the Houston North Area Office.

Texfab specializes in the manufacturing of cylinders that later end up manufactured into pressure vessels for the oil and gas industry. The company employs about 10 workers at the Navasota location and about 70 at its Cypress facility.



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