Job Hazards at La. Worksite Bring OSHA Citations and Fines

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations against Ashton Marine LLC in Harvey, Louisiana for alleged violations of safety and health standards. The agency proposed penalties totaling $48,000.

OSHA’s citations against Ashton Marine, a tug boat repair facility that employs about 25 workers, allege 20 serious, two repeat and 10 other-than-serious violations. The citations follow an inspection that began Jan. 19 at the company’s worksite on Peters Road.

“Many of the violations in this case could have caused serious harm or death,” said Greg Honaker, OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge. “Health and safety standards must be followed to avoid injuries and fatalities.”

Alleged serious violations include failing to: safeguard machinery; provide a competent person to perform inspections; train employees who enter confined spaces; adequately store oxygen and fuel gas cylinders; ensure electrical boxes are properly covered; develop and implement a fire safety plan, and replace defective flotation devices. A serious violation is one likely to cause death or serious physical harm from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The repeat citations were issued for failing to remove combustible items prior to performing heat-related projects and for failing to properly guard edges of decks, platforms or similar flat surfaces more than five feet above a solid surface. A repeat citation is issued for a violation that was previously cited when, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found.

Other-than-serious violations include failing to: provide a written respirator program; conduct forklift training; properly utilize electrical equipment; develop and implement a hazardous communication program, and perform a personal protection equipment hazard assessment. Other-than-serious citations are issued for hazards that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety or health of employees.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.