Excessive Noise Levels Add Up to $118,000 Fine for Piping Firm

OSHA issued one willful and nine serious violations following a health inspection that found workers exposed to excessive noise levels and other hazards at the company's Houston facility.

OSHA has cited Piping Technology and Products Inc. for one willful and nine serious violations following a health inspection that found workers exposed to excessive noise levels and other hazards at the company's Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $118,000.

"This is the not the first time Piping Technology and Products has jeopardized the safety of its workers," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "Employers have a responsibility to safeguard workers from hazards. Failing to adhere to OSHA's safety and health standards exposes workers to serious injuries and illnesses."

OSHA's Houston South Area Office initiated a health inspection at the company's facility on Holmes Road after receiving a referral following a safety inspection that OSHA conducted in June 2011, which resulted in fines totaling more than $1 million for willful and serious violations.

The willful violation now being cited is for failing to establish and maintain a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels.

Some of the serious health violations include failing to ensure the use of hearing protection, ear plugs, or ear muffs to prevent hearing loss; failing to perform a personal protective equipment assessment; failing to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards; failing to ensure emergency eye wash was used and showers were taken; and failing to properly label containers stored with chemicals.

Based on the findings of the June 2011 inspection, OSHA placed Piping Technology in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

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