Federal inspectors responsible for workplace safety appear to be nearly clueless about who and how many firms clean the inside of railroad tankers that carry petrochemicals around the country.
The Houston Chronicle reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can’t say how many of the companies it’s inspected because federal Labor Department codes for tracking the firms are inconsistent.
An OSHA compliance officer tells the newspaper federal officials have no way to find the companies.
The newspaper’s investigation also shows officials can’t say how many people have been killed while doing the dangerous work scrubbing the tanker interiors or suffer illnesses related to chemical exposure from the cleaning process.
The paper reported Sunday its examination of records shows at least 51 deaths over the past 15 years.
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