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Texas Employer Failed to Protect Workers

American Railcar Industries Inc. was cited for not providing adequate fall protection systems for its employees working on top of rail cars.

OSHA cited American Railcar Industries Inc., Longview, Texas, with 24 safety and health violations and penalties of $303,500.

American Railcar Industries refurbishes railcars such as tankers and employs approximately 99 workers at its Longview facility.

OSHA said the citations resulted from an investigation that began Aug. 4, 1999 from a complaint that expanded into a comprehensive inspection.

Among the violations American Railcar was cited for was for failure to provide and require the use of a complete fall protection system while employees were engaged in work on top of rail cars.

The majority of the serious violations were for confined space entry hazards. Other serious citations were issued regarding hazards associated with refurbishing of railcars and unsafe scaffolding, welding and electrical hazards.

"Employees who enter a confined space could be exposed to an environment that is oxygen deficient or could contain hazardous materials that could potentially asphyxiate them," said Katherine Delaney, OSHA district director in Dallas. "The employer did not practice procedures which determined whether the environment of the confined space, especially when work inside can disturb its surfaces, was potentially hazardous to the employees."

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