Severe Violator in Delaware Fined Again by OSHA  - Worksite Medical

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A Delaware-based railcar cleaning and repair company faces penalties of $371k for worker safety and health violations

In August 2019, OSHA investigators searched the company’s tank rail car and cleaning facility after receiving a complaint of numerous health and safety hazards.

The investigation revealed the following violations: 

  • Electrical and explosion hazards;
  • insufficient means of egress;
  • use of defective powered industrial trucks;
  • lack of medical clearance for respiratory protection use;
  • improper use of respirators and inadequate secondary air supply; and,
  • a lack of signage in an area regulated for silica. 


Severe Violator History


This is not the first time the company has faced a six-figure fine from OSHA.

Just last year a 29-year-old worker passed away after suffocating while servicing a rail car that contained crude oil sludge. 

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had followed proper safety procedures for entering and cleaning railcars,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt, in a statement.

“Employers that fail to comply with the law will continue to see full and fair enforcement.”


Related: Are You Forgetting This Key Part to the Respirator Standard?


Following the May 2019 incident, OSHA proposed more than $550K in penalties, and the company was placed into the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Companies in SVEP are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections.

OSHA plans to issue regional or national news releases, and letters to corporate officers, about the company’s obligations under the OSH Act as a severe violator. 

“Failure to comply with OSHA standards leaves employees vulnerable to dangers that can cause serious and potentially fatal injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Erin Gilmore, in Wilmington, Delaware. “Employers have an obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their workers.”

In accordance with OSHA policy, the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Area Director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission


Respiratory & Silica Safety 


Failure to follow respiratory protection standards can have serious, life-threatening consequences for workers.

Under OSHA’s respiratory standard, 29 CFR  1910.134, employees must be medically cleared to wear respirators on job sites, and  respirators must be checked periodically for defects and tight seals.


Related: The OSHA Silica Standard is About to Get More Strict


Furthermore, in OSHA’s silica standard for general industry and maritime, 29 CFR 1910.1053, job sites using sillica must have visible signage, adequate training and, in most cases, a program that offers medical surveillance testing at no charge to employees.



About Worksite Medical

In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.

We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as pulmonary function test and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.

With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.

Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.

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