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Region 6 News Release: 10-1055-DAL (462)
Aug. 5, 2010
Contact: Michael D'Aquino      Michael Wald
Email: D'Aquino.Michael@dol.gov    Wald.Michael@dol.gov
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Matula & Matula Construction
following worker death in Lake Jackson, Texas

LAKE JACKSON, Texas - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Matula & Matula Construction Inc. of Lake Jackson for workplace safety and health violations following the death of an employee who was working inside a sanitary sewer manhole.

"This company exposed its workers to hazardous atmospheres while they were working in sanitary sewers," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's director for its Houston South Area Office in Texas. "It is critical that procedures for safe confined space entry are utilized each time a worker enters a confined space."

OSHA has issued citations alleging two willful, three serious and two repeat violations following an investigation that began Feb. 8, when a worker who was pumping grout into the sewer line on the Highway 332 Utility Relocation Project in Lake Jackson was overcome by hydrogen sulfide.

The willful violations are for failing to implement confined space entry procedures, including testing, ventilation and rescue, and to train employees on the hazards of working in a confined space. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Serious violations include failing to train employees about the danger of working with hazardous chemicals in the workplace, and to inspect, properly maintain and repair damaged ladders. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious p