The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Matula & Matula Construction Inc. of Lake Jackson, Texas, for workplace safety and health violations following the death of an employee who was working inside a sanitary sewer manhole. Proposed penalties total $136,000.
OSHA has issued citations alleging two willful, three serious and two repeat violations following an investigation that began Feb. 8, when a worker who was pumping grout into the sewer line on the Highway 332 Utility Relocation Project in Lake Jackson was overcome by hydrogen sulfide.
The willful violations are for failing to implement confined space entry procedures, including testing, ventilation and rescue, and to train employees on the hazards of working in a confined space.
Serious violations include failing to train employees about the danger of working with hazardous chemicals in the workplace, and to inspect, properly maintain and repair damaged ladders.
The repeat violations are for failing to make a reasonable estimate of employee exposure to hazardous chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide, and to properly erect a ladder for use in accessing the sanitary sewer manhole.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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