Worker Dies in Tank Trailer, Transportation Firm Fined $160,000

OSHA's Houston South Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection Feb. 9 at the company's facility after receiving a report that a worker had been found, unresponsive, inside a tank trailer that was being prepared to be washed.

OSHA has cited Freeport, Texas-based Enterprise Products Transportation Co. for 29 serious and three other-than-serious violations following a fatality which occurred at the facility's tank wash operation in Freeport. Proposed penalties total $160,000.

"Tank washing operations can involve hazardous procedures," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "If OSHA's safety standards had been followed, it is possible this tragedy could have been avoided."

OSHA's Houston South Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection Feb. 9 at the company's facility after receiving a report that a worker had been found, unresponsive, inside a tank trailer that was being prepared to be washed. The employee was removed from the tank trailer by a coworker, but later died.

The serious violations include failing to install and maintain fall protection equipment, provide safe access to work platforms, develop energy control procedures and use them during maintenance activities, provide the required respiratory protection for employees performing tank wash work, provide training on the use of powered industrial trucks, and ensure that chemicals were safely stored.

Other-than-serious violations include failing to inspect breathing air cylinders and have them tested, and for failing to determine an appropriate respirator change schedule.

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