Massachusetts carrier receives proposed OSHA fines in welding accident
May 15, 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, according to information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). TS Truck Service Inc, a Worchester commercial fuel delivery firm, has been cited by OSHA for alleged willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following the 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 for central Massachusetts. OSHA is proposing a $49,000 fine. 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 that were not approved for a hazardous location; no fall protection for an employee working atop a 10-foot, 6-inch high truck tank; and inadequate training for forklift operators, according to OSHA.