Aluminum Refinery Faces Safety Fines

Monday, November 17, 2014 @ 11:11 AM gHale

Texas TST Inc. is facing fines of $47,600 for exposing workers to struck-by, electrical and unguarded machine hazards at its Sweetwater, TX, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Texas TST Inc. is an aluminum refinery that produces secondary ingot, slab and sow.

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Initiated as part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates, the investigation by OSHA’s Lubbock Area Office resulted in 13 safety violations issued for failure to secure compressed gas cylinders, provide strain relief on electrical circuits and repair damaged welding cables.

The company also failed to enclose or guard sprockets and chains located seven feet or less from the floor, and to keep aluminum metal chips from an unguarded machine and grinders from striking workers. 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.

“Where machine guarding and electrical hazards are concerned, making the necessary changes to comply with OSHA standards can mean the difference between life and death,” said Elizabeth Linda Routh, OSHA’s area director in Lubbock. “This employer did not take the steps necessary to keep workers safe during the performance of their daily duties.”

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