OSHA Fines Texas Linen $126.4K for Fall Hazards, Repeat Violations

December 14, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Texas Linen Co. Ltd. five serious and 15 repeat citations following a safety and health inspection at the company’s facility in Austin, Texas. Proposed penalties total $126,400.

OSHA began its inspection June 10 at the company’s worksite on Smith Road and found employees operating a forklift without wearing a seat belt, as well as wet floors in passageways, aisles and laundry work areas.

OSHA issued serious citations alleging a failure to provide fall protection for employees working at an elevation of 16 feet; to provide an adequate number of locks and enforce lockout procedures during machine servicing to prevent injuries from unexpected re-start of machines and equipment; and to ensure a fiberglass ladder was set up and used correctly.

Repeat citations were issued alleging a failure to keep flooring dry; cover floor holes; provide machine guards for rotating parts, points of operation, and sprockets and chains; provide illuminated exit signs and clear exit access; provide properly identified locks for machine servicing; and provide working and easily accessible portable fire extinguishers.

In 2008, the company was fined more than $150,000 and cited for more than 40 safety and health violations at this same location, including a willful citation for not providing Hepatitis B vaccinations to employees within 10 days of being assigned to handle soiled health care linens.

Texas Linen Co., an industrial processing facility, has 15 business days from receipt of the latest citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Austin, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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