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Region 3 News Release: 11-28-PHI (osha 11-004)
Jan. 11, 2011
Contact: Joanna Hawkins       Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5101       215-861-5102
E-mail: hawkins.joanna@dol.gov       uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines western Pennsylvania companies
for exposing workers to flammable materials following double fatality

CHESWICK, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Northeast Energy Management Inc. in Indiana, Pa., and Huntley & Huntley Inc. in Monroeville, Pa., for workplace safety violations following an explosion at the Huntley-owned Murry Heirs #6 well site in Cheswick that caused the death of two workers.

OSHA began its investigation in July 2010 after being notified that a tank containing flammable materials had exploded and two Northeast Energy welders were killed. Huntley & Huntley contracted Northeast Energy to repair a leaking barrel tank at the well site and was responsible for ensuring that Northeast Energy properly trained its workers on safe welding procedures.

"These companies did not ensure that proper welding procedures were followed, resulting in this tragic loss of life," said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's area office in Pittsburgh, Pa. "OSHA remains committed to holding employers legally responsible when they fail to adhere to federal law and compromise the safety of workers."

As a result of the investigation, Northeast Energy was cited for two willful violations involving failure to ensure workers were welding on a thoroughly cleaned tank that did not contain flammable materials which might produce a flammable or toxic vapor when subjected to heat, and determine whether flammable/combustible or other hazardous materials were present. Huntley & Huntley