OSHA has cited an oil refiner and contactor a combined $106,080 for safety violations after an employee suffered a fatal injury at a refining facility in Tuscaloosa, AL.
According to OSHA, the employee asphyxiated when he lost air supply working in a confined space.
OSHA cited industrial contractor Turner Speciality Services for failing to ensure personnel outside the permit-required confined space were capable of providing effective rescue; for allowing an employee to enter the permit-required confined space with insufficient lighting equipment; and for assigning members of the rescue team other duties that prevented them from responding to an emergency event.
The Department of Labor agency cited both Turner Specialty Services Hunt Refining Co. — a petroleum refiner — for failing to ensure that the confined space entry permits identified all hazards of the space and document that all the steps required to ensure the employee’s safety in a confined space were completed. Hunt Refining was also cited for failing to ensure — through periodic evaluations — that Turner Specialty Services fulfilled their obligations as specified in the Process Safety Management standard.
"Employers should never allow workers to enter a space without properly evaluating the hazards and following required safety standards associated with entry,” said OSHA Area Director Ramona Morris, in Birmingham, AL.
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.