Tank Cleaner Hit with 33 Violations
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Federal authorities have slapped a slew of citations and $83,300 in fines on a tank cleaning company in Texas for chemical, explosive and confined-space hazards.
Rucker Environmental Services LLC, doing business as All Type Environmental Cleaning & Repair, was cited for 33 safety and health violations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on Tuesday (Sept. 24).
The citations stem from an inspection at the company’s Pasadena, TX, facility where tanks are cleaned with a variety of chemicals, according to OSHA. The March inspection was prompted by a complaint.
“The employer is responsible for safeguarding workers from toxic and explosive hazards during chemical tank cleaning,” Mark Briggs, director of OSHA’s Houston South Area Office, said in a statement.
“Thankfully, these serious safety and health violations were found before any catastrophic or fatal incident occurred,” Briggs said.
A tank cleaning company in Pasadena, TX, was cited for 33 alleged safety and health violations, including chemical, electrical and confined space hazards, OSHA says.
All Type Environmental is an industrial cleaning facility that specializes in handling hazardous cleaning and waste disposal, according to the company’s LinkedIn profile.
A woman who answered the phone Wednesday (Sept. 25) at the company said no one was available to comment on the citations.
The company received 21 serious violations, including alleged failure to:
• Properly contain, segregate and store chemicals;
• Test confined spaces and provide a rescue plan;
• Train workers and provide information on hazard communications;
• Train and certify powered industrial trucks;
• Correct various electrical hazards;
• Provide emergency eyewash and shower stations;
• Provide personal protective equipment, such as respirators;
• Properly test air quality; and
• Provide fall protection for workers performing cleaning tasks at elevations more than four feet above a lower level.
According to OSHA, a serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard the employer knew or should have known about.
Twelve other-than-serious citations allege that the employer failed to:
• Provide an inhalation exposure assessment for respirators;
• Conduct noise exposure assessments;
• Provide training on hazardous-waste operations and emergency-response standards;
• Properly calibrate confined-space test equipment;
• Provide first-aid training and equipment;
• Train and assess workers on benzene exposure; and
• Properly label hazardous chemical containers.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, contest the citations and penalties, or request an informal conference with OSHA