Three Companies Receive OSHA Fines for Deaths of Two Workers

The employees were killed in a combustible dust flash fire at the worksite.

OSHA cited three companies in relation to the deaths of two workers in a combustible dust fire. The fines from the investigation that began in August total $119,840.

Watco Mechanical Services, Jordan General Contractors Inc., and JP Electric had employees at a Watco-owned cited in Hockley, Texas, where workers were cutting metal with a torch and a fire broke out. The two employees killed worked for Jordan General Contractors. 

"This incident underscores the seriousness of exposing workers to the inadequate control of combustible dust," said David Doucet, OSHA's area director at its Houston North office, in a statement on the website. "Following OSHA standards helps to save lives and avoid such needless tragedy."

Jordan General Contractors received seven serious violations, including the lack of a respiratory program, provide combustible dust hazard training, among other violations totaling $20,240.

OSHA fined Kansas-based Watco $91,300 for 14 serious violations. These ranged from failure to control combustible dust emissions and failing to provide combustible dust hazard signs. 

JP Electric, another Texas company, received one serious violation with a fine of $2,800 for failing to forbid cutting operations around combustible dust. 

Visit the OSHA website for a full list of citations related to this investigation.

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