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Region 4 News Release: 08-98-ATL (025)
Feb. 1, 2008
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Tampa, Fla.-based tank cleaning company for 20 safety violations following Savannah, Ga., area fatality

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Quala Systems Inc. for 20 serious safety violations with $46,800 in proposed penalties.

An employee of the company's QualaWash tank washing subsidiary died in August 2007 shortly after entering an oxygen-deficient chemical container at the company's facilities in Garden City, Ga.

"Employees working in confined spaces need specialized training and the correct equipment to prevent needless deaths, such as that which occurred in this case," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's area director in Savannah.

OSHA inspectors found that the Tampa, Fla.-based company committed a number of serious safety violations, including failing to provide its employees with proper training in respiratory protection, not providing them with adequate respiratory equipment for tanks containing air contaminants and failing to monitor the work space prior to entry. These failures directly contributed to the employee's death from asphyxia.

A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and