Wilmington, Del.-based Dana Railcare is facing $551,226 in penalties after a worker asphyxiated in a confined space.
In May 2019, a 29-year-old Justin Fields was servicing a rail car containing crude oil sludge in Pittston, Penn. Fields lost consciousness during the task and was pronounced dead at 3 p.m.
"This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had followed proper safety procedures for entering and cleaning railcars," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt, in a statement. "Employers that fail to comply with the law will continue to see full and fair enforcement."
Following the accident, OSHA cited Dana Railcare for four willful and three serious violations for failing to protect employees from the hazards of entering permit-required confined spaces, and inadequate respiratory protection procedures.
The agency also placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
"Companies are legally required to test and monitor confined spaces for oxygen content before and during entry to confined spaces," said Mark Stelmack, OSHA Wilkes-Barre area director.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Area Director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.