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Region 4 News Release: 10-75-ATL (064)
Jan. 25, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Mueller Industries subsidiaries in Fulton, Miss., for safety and health violations, proposing $683,000 in penalties

FULTON, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued three Mueller Industries Inc. subsidiaries in Fulton 128 citations for allegedly exposing workers to safety and health hazards. The privately-held corporation headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., owns and operates 20 facilities located in eight states and two foreign countries.

OSHA began its investigation in July 2009 after a maintenance worker employed by Mueller Copper Tube Co. Inc., a subsidiary of Mueller Industries, was killed, and two other workers were injured when naphtha, a flammable liquid of hydrocarbon mixtures, leaked from an electric pump and ignited.

"Mueller Industries subsidiaries' dangerous practices exposed workers at their facilities to a variety of hazards that ultimately took one worker's life," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "The significant fines of $683,000 cannot replace this worker's life or bring peace to the family, but they will go a long way in letting this employer know disregarding worker safety and health will not be tolerated."

Mueller Copper Tube has been issued willful, repeat and serious citations. A willful citation with a penalty of $40,000 alleges the failure to repair a corroded live electrical disconnect, which exposed workers to electrical shock. Ten repeat citations with penalties of $150,000 allege failure to guard machinery; unsafe electrical equipment and practices; and failure to label hazardous chemicals. Sixty-nine serious citations, with proposed penalties of $223,500