Safety and OSHA News

Fatality follows near-miss: OSHA names company severe violator

Near misses are a chance to learn and improve your safety measures. But this company neglected to heed the warning, and a worker’s life was lost as a result. 

An employee of SCR Construction Co. Inc. in Richmond, TX, was torch cutting a flammable barrel. The barrel exploded, killing the worker.

OSHA was understandably furious – especially since a few weeks earlier, there was a shockingly similar incident involving an explosion.

“SCR Construction was aware of a near miss involving ignition and overpressurization of another drum just weeks before the fatal explosion, and did nothing to address it, which could have prevented this tragedy,” said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA’s Houston South Area Office.

The company was issued a willful violation for failing to thoroughly clean drums or barrels containing flammable substances before welding or cutting work to prevent worker exposure to ignition or toxic emissions.

It also received 12 serious violations, including failing to provide hand and eye protection; lockout and tagout energy sources; train and certify workers on powered industrial trucks; provide machine guarding; properly store and handle compressed gas; and provide hazard communication training.

Four other-than-serious violations included failing to provide an inhalation exposure assessment, respiratory protection, personal protective equipment hazard assessment and mark and inspect the alloy steel and synthetic web slings. These violations have a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

And it has landed itself in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. That means it’ll be seeing a lot more of OSHA inspectors in the future. And safety inspectors issued the company a $131,670 fine for all the violations.

Take heed of warnings

No company should be happy to have a near-miss incident. It’s still a sign that something has gone wrong, regardless of whether or not it could’ve been worse.

But to gloss over a near miss as if nothing happened is foolish, and possibly could be deadly.

Make sure workers are informed any time there is a near miss at your facility. Treat it as seriously as you would an actual accident.

You may even want to treat accidents and fatalities at other facilities the same way as you would a near-miss at your own. Just because it didn’t happen to your organization doesn’t mean it couldn’t.

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  1. Jonathan Ramos says:

    I am deaf and work at Tyson foods in Madison, Ne. I worked forklift on training June 10-July 13 and I got disqualify the due u slow on lowboy(small driving). Human Resource review then gave me another chance 2 weeks the due ie explain to him because of lowboy missed practice 2 weeks. Then 7/23/19 I’m back on when as met said 7/24/19 starting morning, I arrived started and Team Member has false report when I was stopped and hand-waves go away because person was barrier at the front by forklift then he finally move away. Yesterday I got 5 report false accused. I stopped and check behind the support management was trick at me when I noticed him stand as stop to let me move back while check another right side the guy stop then he say go ahead and support management was trick quickly walk behind me while I slow back and he on purpose over hit by forklift while I slow then he was laughing at me as tool at easy report then supervisor saw it but he only see after he was laughing then spoke him. Supervisor so closed support management as buddy. Then Human Resources again took me off forklift for while not disqualify yet. When they asking me any idea, I suggest set light or something because I can’t hear honk while have mirror and sometime lowboy trick me to wait to hit on purpose when I seen nothing another way to make sure space then I drive forklift and guy on purpose hit to use tool against me. When happened I fall back to let him as welcome while I stop and seen him coming he was wait for me to coming. It’s make me annoyed.

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