Coking Plant Cited for Respiratory, Industrial Hygiene, PPE Violations

OSHA has proposed a total of $48,500 in fines against Tonawanda Coke Corp. for 14 alleged serious violations of workplace health and safety standards at the company's River Road plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., which produces foundry coke, a coal by-product. The citations address deficiencies involving the plant's respiratory protection program, use of personal protective equipment, industrial hygiene, and coke oven operations.

"Ensuring the health and safety of workers in coke oven operations makes it essential that effective and proper safeguards be in place and in use at all times in this type of work environment," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo, N.Y. "Safeguards encompass respiratory protection, personal protective equipment, correct work practices and engineering controls, the primary means of minimizing workers exposure to airborne contaminants."

Specifically, the plant failed to adequately train workers on respirator selection, use, storage, and maintenance; ensure the use of protective clothing by employees; and implement work-specific procedures in the plant's respiratory protection program.

In addition, the plant did not conduct all required monitoring and perform all required medical evaluations for workers exposed to coke oven emissions; allowed coke spillage to be shoveled into a heated oven; did not supply positive-pressure filtered air to all work cabs; failed to maintain a machine in good working order; did not label containers of coke-contaminated clothing; and allowed food and beverages to be consumed in an area with visible accumulations of coke-oven emissions. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue