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PA Natural Gas Producer Issued Citations after Failing OSHA Safety Inspection

Natural gas producer J.R. Resources was issued eight citations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), for safety violations at its Ringgold well site. OSHA launched the investigation last August after a worker died from injuries he suffered at a flash fire. Officials determined J.R. Resources failed to maintain a safe work environment and failed to require and provide flame-resistant clothing that may have saved the worker.

Of the eight violations, J.R. Resources was issued seven serious violations, including failing to require and provide flame-resistant clothing to be worn when working around natural gas; failing to provide fall protection from stairs on brine tanks; failing to provide a written hazard communication program and training; and improperly labeling tanks and failing to prevent workers from riding in the bucket of a backhoe. They were also given a fire hazard citation for an electrical pump that was placed near flammable materials. OSHA issued the citations because the violations posed substantial probability of death or serious physical harm to workers, and J.R. Resources knew or should have known about the hazards.

The company was given one less-serious citation for failing to report the incident and fatality to OSHA within eight hours, which is required by United States law.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment, and that includes finding and fixing hazards associated with the workplace,” Director of the OSHA Erie Office, Theresa A. Naim, said in a statement.

The penalties could cost J.R. Resources $22,400, unless the company chooses to contest the citations. J.R. Resources has 15 days from receipt of the citations to pay the fine, petition a conference with OSHA, or challenge the citations before OSHA’s Review Commission.

OSHA’s mission, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, is to assure employees work in a safe environment and that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces. OSHA works to enforce these standards by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. For more information visit: www.OSHA.gov.

While this injury case took place in the state of Pennsylvania, OSHA oversees worker safety throughout the United States. Our Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers have successfully handled numerous cases involving OSHA violations. If you or someone you know has been injured in the workplace and you believe there may have been a workplace violation, give one of our experienced attorneys a call for a free case consultation. Our concierge personal injury law practice is available 24/7.

Original Article from: WorkersCompensation.com “PA Employer Failed to Require and Provide Flame-Resistant Clothing for Natural Gas Work”, March 6, 2013

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