Texas Rail Services Firm Faces $419K Fine After Oklahoma Workers’ Deaths

February 10, 2021

A Texas-based rail products and services company has been cited by federal workplace safety officials for violations that resulted in the deaths of two workers at a site in Hugo, Oklahoma.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Trinity Rail and Maintenance Services Inc. did not follow federal safety standards for working in confined spaces after two workers died from inhaling toxic fumes.

An employee of Trinity Rail and Maintenance Services Inc. became unresponsive after entering a natural gasoline rail car with the intent of cleaning the space on Aug. 12, 2020, according to OSHA. A second employee entered the rail car and was also overcome after attempting to rescue the fallen worker.

Both workers were eventually recovered and later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

OSHA found that the company failed to require a permit to allow entry into the rail car, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside a confined space and complete entry permits for work inside a confined space, as required.

OSHA cited the company for 11 serious violations and two willful violations, and has proposed $419,347 in penalties.

Based in Dallas, Trinity Rail and Maintenance Service Inc. is one of the nation’s largest rail car servicing and maintenance providers with facilities in Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. It is a subsidiary of Trinity Rail, which leases and services an owned and managed fleet of more than 125,000 rail cars.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of citation 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.

Source: OSHA

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