The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited U.S. Oil Recovery and proposed penalties totaling $54,000 for alleged safety violations.
OSHA issued the citations alleging 23 serious and two other-than-serious violations following an investigation that began January 3 at the company's facility in Pasadena, Texas. U.S. Oil Recovery, which specializes in sludge management services to refineries, cleaning and hauling services for oil waste products and the storage of universal and non-hazardous wastes, employs about 25 workers at the Pasadena location.
"In order to avoid workplace injuries, employers must follow OSHA's health and safety standards, said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "The inspection revealed that the company failed to do this."
Serious violations include failing to: provide machine guarding on belts and pulleys; identify confined spaces as well as having a procedure for summoning rescue personnel during confined space entries; provide energy control procedures; and provide adequate washing facilities for employees working with corrosives. A serious violation is one with potential to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The other-than-serious violations related to the company's failing to provide OSHA injury and illness logs and failing to label and identify hazardous chemicals. Other-than-serious violations are issued when a violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health can contact OSHA's Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583. A toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.