OSHA Cites Reynolds Nationwide for Worker Exposures to Dangerous Fumes

The freight-handling company faces two willful and six serious violations, according to the agency.

OSHA announced an enforcement case against Reynolds Nationwide, saying its employees in London, Ohio, risked potentially lethal suffocation caused by dangerous fumes because the company did not test the atmosphere or properly ventilate the air in food transport tankers before allowing workers to enter them.

The agency has issued two willful and six serious safety violations involving confined spaces and fall hazards, with proposed penalties of $179,000.

"Fumes can reach dangerous levels in confined spaces, and that puts workers in real and immediate danger," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus, Ohio. "Reynolds Nationwide failed to implement training and procedures to protect workers entering these tanks, and that is unacceptable."

An investigation from OSHA found that Reynolds did not ventilate the tankers to eliminate and control atmospheric hazards and failed to test and monitor atmospheric conditions in the tankers before allowing workers to enter and clean them. Employees were also exposed to fall hazards of nearly 11 feet while cleaning the tankers, according to OSHA.

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