Fourth time tank cleaner failed to address dangerous confined space hazards
An air quality test and harnesses properly tethered to a lifeline for rescue might have prevented tragedy for three workers overcome by a lack of oxygen inside a rail tanker in October 2015 in New Orleans, federal workplace safety and health investigators have determined.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Dedicated TCS LLC failed to test the atmosphere inside the tanker before the three employers entered the tank and to mandate that the workers attach a lifeline to their harnesses to allow a rescue. One of the workers died and other two were hospitalized in the incident.
OSHA has cited Dedicated TCS for the same confined space violations three times before at its locations in Illinois. In April 2012, the agency issued eight serious violations at the company’s location in Channahon. In May 2012, inspectors found nine serious and two willful violations at its Lansing location. In July 2014, an investigation in Channahon found four serious and seven repeat violations.
Dedicated TCS LLC, a tank cleaning service with about 55 employees in Louisiana and Illinois, faces $226,310 in fines for two willful, three repeat, and four serious violations for exposing workers to hazardous health conditions in New Orleans.
Willful violations include failing to test atmospheric conditions within a confined space before allowing workers to enter and failing to evaluate a rescuer’s ability to respond in a timely manner and function appropriately while rescuing entrants from confined spaces.
Serious violations include failing to have a complete respiratory protection program and to medically evaluate and fit test employees before allowing them to use respirators.
Repeat violations include failing to take all necessary steps to guarantee safe entry into a confined space, failing to provide fixed points or mechanical devices for retrieving workers from a permit-required space, and failing to verify and check appropriate entry conditions on a permit before letting workers enter a confined space.
“Dedicated TCS continues to ignore crucial safety procedures for . This is the fourth time OSHA has found this employer in violation of federal safety standards,” said Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge. “Sadly, the company’s inaction has cost a man his life.”
Link to citations for Dedicated TCS: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DedicatedTCSLLC_1098071.pdf*