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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ATI Engineered Products in Huntsville, Ala., for safety violations following a worker's fatal exposure to hydrogen sulfite last December.
The agency is proposing a repeat violation with a $12,500 penalty after it found the process vessels not properly labeled. The company has been cited for a similar violation following a 2007 inspection at its sister plant in Gurley, Ala.
The Huntsville company is also being cited for 13 serious violations with proposed penalties of $61,500. Serious violations include failure to install hydrogen sulfite monitors and a lack of training for employees who handle hazardous chemicals which were related to the fatality. Additionally, deficiencies were found with regard to respiratory protection, confined space and lockout/tagout programs. A serious citation is issued 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.
"OSHA is serious about safety, and we expect employers to take safety seriously as well," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "This employer has been fined by OSHA in the past for numerous violations of the OSHA standards but continues to place his employees in danger."
OSHA has proposed $74,000 in penalties against the company, which has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.