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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-09-1149-DAL
Friday, Oct. 9, 2009
Contact: Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4710

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites chemical recycling company following a fatality at Port Arthur, Texas, worksite

PORT ARTHUR, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Houston-based CES Environmental Services Inc. with one alleged willful, 32 alleged serious and one other-than-serious violations following the death of a worker at the company's worksite in Port Arthur.

"Hazardous chemicals and the improper handling of those chemicals have unfortunately claimed the life of a worker," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "If this employer had followed OSHA's standards, it is possible that this tragedy could have been avoided."

OSHA's Houston South Area Office began its investigation April 14 at the company's worksite on Gulf Way Drive following the death of a worker who was exposed to hydrogen sulfide. A willful citation was issued for failing to provide a rescue team to promptly respond to an emergency when workers enter a confined space. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The investigation found 32 serious violations, including failing to evaluate the worksite for exposures to hydrogen sulfide, develop procedures for waste stream processing, develop decontamination procedures, and train workers on the hazards associated with confined space entry on barges. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violation was issued for failing to remove liquid waste as often as necessary.

OSHA cited CES with proposed penalties of $16,600 in December 2008 after the i