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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-08-1130-DAL
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA fines Texas Linen Co. more than $149,000 for alleged safety and health violations

AUSTIN, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations with proposed penalties totaling $149,100 to Texas Linen Co. Ltd. in Austin for one willful, 43 alleged serious and one other-than-serious safety violations.

"This company failed to protect its employees from workplace hazards which could have caused illness and injuries," said Eric Harbin, OSHA's area director in Austin. "It is critical that employers follow OSHA's standards to provide a safe and healthful working environment. Fortunately, no one was injured in this case."

Following an inspection that began on Feb. 21 at the company's worksite on Smith Road in Austin, OSHA issued a willful violation for not providing the Hepatitis B vaccination to employees within 10 days of being assigned to handle soiled healthcare linens. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The 43 serious citations included failing to: correct electrical hazards; provide machine guarding for power transmission devices; protect employees from exposure to bloodborne pathogens while handling contaminated health care linens; and provide sanitary