Worker dies in a flash fire. Employer failed to provide Flame Resistant Clothing

Ringgold, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited natural gas producer and operator J.R. Resources with eight health and safety violations at its Ringgold gas well site. OSHA began the August 2012 inspection after a worker, who was not provided or required to wear flame-resistant clothing, died from injuries sustained during a flash fire.

Of the seven serious violations cited some include failing to require and provide flame-resistant clothing be worn when working around natural gas; failure to provide fall protection from stairs on brine tanks; failure to provide safety training and a written hazard communication program/plan; and failing to properly label tanks and prevent workers from riding in the bucket of a backhoe. The employer was also cited for utilizing an electric pump in the presence of flammable materials.

A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

One other violation that was cited was for failing to report the fatality to OSHA within eight hours, as required by law.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment, and that includes finding and fixing hazards associated with the workplace,” said Theresa A. Naim, director of the OSHA Erie Area Office. “OSHA will continue to hold employers responsible when they fail to protect their workers.”

Proposed penalties total $22,400.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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