OSHA cites piping manufacturer for safety, health hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has come down hard on JSW Steel, with $146,500 in proposed penalties for an alleged failure to protect its employees from potential safety and health hazards following an inspection at the company’s facility in Baytown, Texas.

JSW Steel, which primarily manufactures piping at its Texas facility, was investigated by OSHA’s Houston South Area Office in late-November following a complaint alleging potential violations of federal safety regulations.

The investigation uncovered 29 violations, including failing to evaluate the worksite for confined spaces to prevent possible entrapment of employees; to ensure an authorized employee was adequately trained on the methods to control hazardous energy; and to ensure the required machine guarding.

According to OSHA, a serious violation is defined as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Two repeat citations were issued for failing to conduct an annual inspection of the energy control procedures and to provide machine guarding to protect employees and operator from hazards created by metal slabs moving on roller conveyors. OSHA defines a repeat violation as one where the employer previously has been cited for the same or similar hazard within the past three years.

JSW Steel, which employs about 600 workers at its Baytown operations facility, has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent t Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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