Texas Company Hit with $161K Fine for Safety Violations

November 16, 2012

Williams & Davis Boilers Inc.in Hutchins, Texas, has been cited for repeat, willful and serious safety hazards violations and fined $131,670, federal regulators say.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company with nine safety violations — including one willful, four repeat and four serious — for continuing to expose workers to fall and other hazards at the company’s facility in Hutchins.

The willful violation involves operating a 10-ton overhead crane without bridge brakes and failing to ensure that the crane had sufficient clearance to prevent the bridge from striking the building.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The repeat violations include failing to protect workers from fall hazards while jacketing boilers 4-10 feet above the floor, ensure that workers are trained to safely operate powered industrial trucks, ensure that workroom floors are kept clean and dry, and keep pendent controls on overhead cranes clean so that the function labels are legible.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Similar violations were cited during an inspection in 2011.

The serious violations include failing to ensure that personal protective equipment is designed and constructed for the work performed, implement confined space entry procedures for workers who perform welding duties inside de-aerators and boilers, establish energy control procedures for machinery with more than one energy source and ensure that powered industrial trucks are taken out of service when in need of repair.

A serious violation occurs 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. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Dallas area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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