OSHA Cites Rail Car Company for Confined Spaces Violations

Trinity Rail and Maintenance Services Inc. was cited for 11 serious violations after the death of two employees in August.

An Oklahoma rail car products and services provider was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor on Feb. 10 for breaching federal confined spaces safety standards.

OSHA cited Trinity Rail and Maintenance Service Inc. for 11 serious violations and two willful violations. The resulting penalties add up to $419,347. The company was initially investigated after two workers died from inhaling toxic fumes while in a confined space in August 2020.

A first employee became unresponsive after they entered a natural gas rail car to clean a space. A second employee then entered the real car to rescue the first worker, but both later died after being recovered from the site. OSHA determined that Trinity Rail and Maintenance Service Inc. failed to require a permit for entry into the rail car, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside the confined space and complete entry permits.

“Work inside confined spaces is a dangerous job and federal workplace safety standards must be followed to avoid disaster,” said OSHA Area Director Steven A. Kirby. “As is the case here, failing to follow OSHA standards can be the difference between life and death.”

Trinity Rail and Maintenance Services must comply or request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director within 15 days of receipt of the citations.

About the Author

Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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