Texas Tower Manufacturer Cited for 41 Safety, Health Violations

OSHA has cited FWT Inc. with alleged willful and serious violations of federal safety and health regulations following an inspection at the company’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The proposed penalties total $293,400.

FWT manufactures custom steel products for telecommunication and utility applications. The company produces guyed and self-supporting towers, monopoles, transmission and distribution poles, lattice and substation structures, and power mounts at its Fort Worth manufacturing yard and galvanizing plant.

"OSHA's standards must be followed to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Zachary Barnett, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. "FWT has not followed OSHA standards, putting its workers' safety in jeopardy."

The investigation, which began Sept. 30, 2009, has resulted in three willful and 38 serious violations of OSHA standards. The willful violations are for failing to conduct noise monitoring for employees who were exposed to noise levels at or above a time-weighted average of 120 dBA; to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards associated with methylene diphenyl diisocyanate; and to provide a carbon monoxide monitor for employees utilizing compressed air from an oil lubricated compressor as breathing air during blasting operations. A willful citation is characterized by an employer's intentional disregard of the standards or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Serious violations include failing to institute a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to noise levels above the action level; to provide and enforce the use of personal protective equipment; to provide a respiratory protection program and proper respirator for employees utilizing respirators to work with hazardous chemicals; and to conduct air monitoring for employees exposed to methylene chloride. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, and request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Fort Worth or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

For more information about FWT, visit http://www.fwtinc.com/default.aspx.

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