Fatal explosion, fire brings $71,250 in proposed fines against company
Jun 1, 2002 12:00 PM
The death of a welder in a Worcester MA explosion and fire has led to $71,250 in proposed fines against his employer for failing to protect workers against the hazards of flammable vapors during cutting and welding operations.
TS Truck Service Inc, a commercial fuel delivery firm at 22 Eskow Road, has been cited by the United States Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for alleged willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act after the Dec 17, 2001, fatality, On that day, an employee who was welding atop a delivery truck's fuel tank died after flammable vapors inside the tank ignited, causing an explosion and fire that engulfed him.
OSHA's inspection found that the company allowed the welding to proceed without first ensuring that the tank and its piping had been cleaned thoroughly enough to eliminate any flammable materials or substances which could produce flammable vapors, according to Ronald E Morin, OSHA area director.
An additional $22,250 in fines is proposed for seven alleged serious violations, including: failure to have an authorized person inspect the work area for fire hazards before welding; failing to properly cover or locate flammable and combustible materials at least 35 feet from welding operations; not having suitable fire extinguishing equipment present and immediately available for use during welding; failure to suitably train workers; electrical outlets, lighting, and fans not approved for a hazardous location; no fall protection for an employee working atop a 10'-6"-high truck tank; and inadequate training for forklift operators.
TS Truck Service has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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