The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently fined an Illinois truck and trailer repair company after a worker died of injuries chemicals suffered during the inspection of a tank trailer.
B&R Repair of Lemont, Illinois was fined $326,306 for exposing workers to hazards in a confined space following an OSHS investigation into the death of a 48-year-old employee, the agency announced on September 8.
According to OSHA, the worker entered the tank truck “as part of an annual U.S. Department of Transportation requirement and was overcome by exposure to bleach and chlorine gas. The worker was found unconscious in the tanker-trailer, he later died of his injuries.
Investigators cited B&R Repair for two willful violations and ten serious violations.
OSHA detailed the violations discovered during the investigation:
B&R Repair…failed to identify and assess atmospheric hazards in the confined space, train workers on the confined space program, and ensure employees completed a space permit confined before entering a confined space. OSHA also found that the employer failed to equip the worker rescuing the unconscious employee with a recovery system, implemented its own procedures for calling rescue and emergency services, and numerous other violations of its confined space regulations requiring a permit. The company was also cited for failing to provide fall protection to an employee working on tank trailers and to provide training on fall hazards, respirators and hazard communication.
“In recent years, OSHA has investigated cases in which workers have suffered tragic injuries because employers failed to follow proper procedures to ensure healthy atmospheric conditions inside a confined space and the use of adequate respiratory protection before allowing workers to enter tanks,” explained OSHA Regional Director Jacob Scott. in Naperville. “The company should immediately review its confined space procedures, emergency action plans and provide additional training to protect workers on the job.”