OSHA Cites Pipe Company After Three Injuries

The agency said it has proposed $468,000 in penalties against Boomerang Tube LLC for alleged violations at its Liberty Works in Texas.

OSHA has filed six willful, one other-than-serious, and nine serious violations against Boomerang Tube LLC after commencing an investigation of its Liberty Works plant near Liberty, Texas, after three of its employees were seriously injured within five months. The proposed penalties against the company, which is based in Missouri, total $468,000.

"This employer jeopardized the safety of its employees by failing to follow OSHA's safety standards for energy control procedures and machine guarding," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "It is very unfortunate that these workers were so seriously injured when the causes should have been prevented."

The Houston North Area Office's investigation began June 14 in response to a complaint from one of the injured employees who said workers faced unsafe conditions while operating cranes and slitter, rolling, and thread machines and performing other tasks. According to OSHA, the injuries occurred in April, an employee was caught in an operating machine; May, when a worker was struck by a piece of steel and knocked into a concrete pit; and September, when another employee was caught in machinery.

The alleged willful violations claim the comany failed to repair a damaged under-hung crane, ensure lockout/tagout procedures were used as required, or provide required machine guarding on the pipe manufacturing line.

Boomerang Tube produces oil country tubular goods –- pipes, casing, tubing products used in the petroleum industry –- and line pipe and says its Liberty Works is located on a 119-acre site near the town of Liberty, which is northeast of Houston. It has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston North area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations are available at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/boomerangtube_315610279_1214_11.pdf.

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