Two Companies Cited in Kiln-Related Death

OSHA has cited two companies--Oxbow Calcining LLC of Kremlin, Okla. and Geo. P. Reintjes Co. Inc. of Kansas City, Mo.--for alleged safety and health violations following the death of a worker at a worksite in Kremlin. OSHA's Oklahoma City Area Office began its inspection Sept. 22, 2008, following a release of steam and heated petroleum coke--materials heated in an industrial process--that occurred the day before while workers were removing refractory brick used for lining furnaces in kiln chambers. Three workers employed by Geo. P. Reintjes, the subcontractor, were severely burned, one of whom later died.

Oxbow Calcining, a subsidiary of the Oxbow Group headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., was cited with one willful violation for failing to follow written procedures for demolition of a refractory kiln. Citations also included two serious violations for failing to ensure employees were informed about the hazards associated with hot petroleum coke and failing to ensure workers were using the required personal protective equipment.

Geo. P. Reintjes, doing business as Reintjes Refractory Contractors, was cited with nine serious violations, including failing to use safe operating procedures for normal shut-down and tear-out of refractory materials at the kiln chamber, failing to provide necessary machine guarding, and failing to adequately erect scaffolding.

OSHA has proposed $75,600 in penalties for Oxbow Calcining and proposed penalties for Reintjes Refractory totaling $49,050. Each company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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