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Region 6 News Release: 10-1622-DAL
Dec. 2, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth Todd       Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710       972-850-4709
E-mail: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov       rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA fines US Minerals in Galveston,
Texas, $273,000 for alleged workplace safety violations

GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited U.S. Minerals Inc. with three alleged willful and 35 alleged serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety and health hazards at the company's facility in Galveston. Proposed penalties total $273,000.

"This company jeopardized the safety of its employees by not providing the proper fall protection and machine guarding," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's area director for the Houston South Area Office. "Employers' disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated."

The willful violations are for failing to provide fall protection for open-sided platforms, failing to provide conveyors equipped with emergency stops or pull cords and failing to provide adequate fall protection for the bulk load out area. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Serious violations include failing to provide covers on chute floors, failing to remove damaged portable metal ladders from service, failing to ensure compressed gas cylinders were properly secured, failing to provide fire extinguishers where combustible and flammable materials were stored and failing to develop and document machine specific lockout/tagout procedures for equipment. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious phys