OSHA Cites Weatherford International in Longview, Texas

November 29, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Weatherford International Ltd. with one alleged willful, 30 alleged serious and two alleged repeat violations following a safety and health inspection at the company’s facility in Longview. Proposed penalties total $261,500.

OSHA began its inspection on May 24 at the company’s facility on FM 2751 in Longview after receiving a complaint alleging workers were experiencing headaches and nosebleeds from exposure to hexavalent chromium during chrome plating and cleanup operations. A willful violation was issued for failing to ensure employees’ airborne exposure to hexavalent chromium did not exceed OSHA’s permissible exposure limit of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

The serious violations include failing to train workers on OSHA’s hexavalent chromium standard, failing to implement proper hygiene practices and housekeeping procedures, and failing to have high temperature alarms on hardening and tempering tanks.

Repeat violations include failing to provide adequate point of operation guarding on lathes, and failing to ensure containers used for dipping and coating operations were marked and labeled.

Detailed information about hexavalent chromium hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA’s Web site at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hexavalentchromium.

The company, which manufactures oil well rod pump barrels and plungers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Dallas Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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