OSHA Fines Company $258,000 Following Worker's Death at Construction Site

The Pasadena Tank Corp.'s failure to protect workers from fall hazards lead to the death of a worker at a Houston construction site, resulting in proposed OSHA fines of $258,000.

The Pasadena Tank Corp.'s failure to protect workers from fall hazards lead to the death of a worker at a Houston construction site, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency proposed penalties totaling $258,000.

OSHA cited the company, headquartered in Houston, with six alleged willful and serious safety violations. OSHA began its investigation Aug. 23, 2001 when an employee, who was repairing the rooftop of a storage tank, fell 56 feet to the ground when the rooftop collapsed.

"The employer knew about the unsafe working conditions, but continued to place workers at risk," said John Lawson, OSHA Houston North area director. "A similar incident happened two years ago when two employees fell to their deaths from a storage tank. This company's continued failure to protect its workers from falls is simply unacceptable."

The company was cited with four alleged willful violations for failing to protect workers by providing an inadequate fall protection system. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.

The company was also cited with two alleged serious violations for failing to train workers and protect workers from falling objects. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Pasadena Tank Corp. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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