OSHA Cites Refinery Contractor After Heat Exposure Fatality

JV Industrial Cos. Ltd. faces $7,000 in fines, the maximum allowed for a serious violation.

An OSHA investigation resulted in a serious violation being lodged against JV Industrial Cos. Ltd. for failing to implement heat management program for workers exposed to excessive heat while wearing chemical-resistant encapsulating suits. According to an agency news release, JV Industrial Cos. Ltd., which is based in Pasadena, Texas, was contracted by the Valero St. Charles Refinery in Norco, La., to demolish piping in its sulfuric acid alkylation unit.

The investigation occurred after OSHA was notified that a worker was cutting pipe outdoors in four layers of clothing and died on the job. JV Industrial faces proposed penalties of $7,000.

"While the temperature outdoors was 83 degrees, JV Industrial failed to take into consideration the increased heat stress caused by the specialized clothing being worn by the workers as they cut and removed the piping," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "A life was needlessly lost because the employer failed to implement a heat management program to protect workers."

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