November 7, 2018
HARPERSVILLE, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Legend Directional Services LLC – based in Weatherford, Texas – for improper storage of compressed gases after an employee suffered fatal injuries in an explosion at the Harpersville Reinforcement Project in Harpersville, Alabama.
OSHA investigators determined that flammable welding gases stored in an unventilated storage container exploded when the employee opened the container door. OSHA cited the drilling company for storing compressed welding gas cylinders and liquefied petroleum tanks in an unventilated container, failing to store acetylene and oxygen cylinders separately, and failing to train employees on hazards associated with flammable chemicals. Legend Directional Services faces $28,455 in penalties, which includes the maximum allowed for the fatality-related citation.
“Employers who use hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required to train employees on chemical safety data sheets and labels, and incorporate safety controls to protect employees from those hazards,” said OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director Ramona Morris. “This tragedy could have been avoided if the employer had followed required procedures for storing dangerous gases.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov/.