Over $175,000 in proposed penalties for confined space and fall hazards

MILLPORT, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Thorpe Specialty Services Corp. - operating as Thorpe Plant Services Inc. - and Steel Dust Recycling LLC for fall and confined space hazards after an employee was hospitalized following a 30-foot fall at Steel Dust's Millport, Alabama, facility. Thorpe Plant Services faces $175,528 in proposed penalties; Steel Dust's penalties total $28,270.

OSHA cited Thorpe the maximum allowable penalty for exposing employees to fall hazards. The Agency also cited the company for failing to conduct atmospheric monitoring before allowing employees to enter a confined space; failing to develop a permit prior to employees entering a confined space; and to ensure emergency services were provided when employees entered a permit-required confined space. OSHA cited Steel Dust for exposing employees to fall hazards, failing to implement their permit space entry program, and not advising Thorpe that the required work involved a permit space entry.

"Both companies' failure to comply with fall prevention requirements led to a serious injury that could have been prevented," said OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director Ramona Morris.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.

[Read the release on OSHA.gov]




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