Seattle Employer Fined $215,250 in Confined Space Case

L&I cited Industrial Container Services for seven failure to abate serious violations related to the confined space hazards and for not ensuring that moving parts were de-energized to prevent workers from becoming caught in machinery.

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries announced July 6 that it has fined Industrial Container Services, a Seattle company, $215,250 and cited it for serious workplace health violations after a worker became entangled in a rotating shaft while working inside a confined space. L&I's statement said the agency had cited the company previously for many of these hazards, but they had not been corrected.

Industrial Container Services refurbishes metal drums and other industrial containers. It operates a "drum shot-blaster unit," a 24-foot long tunnel with a series of rotating shafts that move metal drums through as they're being shot-blasted to remove paint and coatings. L&I began its investigation in January 2015 after a worker was hospitalized after being injured while working inside a drum shot-blaster.

L&I cited the company for seven failure to abate serious violations related to the confined space hazards and for not ensuring that moving parts were de-energized to prevent workers from becoming caught in machinery. These violations were originally cited in October 2013 and had not been corrected. Each carries a penalty of $22,750. L&I also cited the company for four repeat-serious violations and four serious violations related to confined space procedures and lockout/tagout, with penalties ranging from $11,700 to $4,550 for these.

"As a result of these safety issues, Industrial Container Solutions has been identified as a severe violator and could be subject to increased scrutiny at all its locations nationwide," L&I's announcement stated. It said the company has appealed the citation.

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