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Region 6 News Release: 10-1509-DAL
Nov. 23, 2010
Contact: Juan Rodriguez       Elizabeth Todd
E-mail: rodriguez.juan@dol.gov       todd.elizabeth@dol.gov
Phone: 972-850-4709       972-850-4710

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Weatherford International in Longview,
Texas, for allegedly exposing workers to hexavalent chromium and other hazards

LONGVIEW, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Weatherford International Ltd. with one alleged willful, 30 alleged serious and two alleged repeat violations following a safety and health inspection at the company's facility in Longview. Proposed penalties total $261,500.

"This company jeopardized the safety of its workers by exposing them to hexavalent chromium hazards, which could possibly result in severe and adverse health effects," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas, Texas. "OSHA's safety and health standards must be followed to prevent injuries and fatalities."

OSHA began its inspection on May 24 at the company's facility on FM 2751 in Longview after receiving a complaint alleging workers were experiencing headaches and nosebleeds from exposure to hexavalent chromium during chrome plating and cleanup operations. A willful violation was issued for failing to ensure employees' airborne exposure to hexavalent chromium did not exceed OSHA's permissible exposure limit of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations include failing to train workers on OSHA's hexavalent chromium standard, failing to implement proper hygiene practices and housekeeping procedures, and failing to have high temperature alarms on hardening and tempering t