Matrix Metals fined $96,000 for safety violations

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Matrix Metals LLC's Richmond (Texas) Foundry for allegedly failing to protect its employees from safety and health hazards and has proposed penalties totaling $96,000.

"This company has exposed its employees to unsafe working conditions," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "It is fortunate in this case that no one was injured."

Following a health inspection that began March 5 and a safety inspection on March 12 at the company's facility on Collins Road in Richmond, OSHA issued 33 serious and seven other-than-serious violations. The Houston-based company, a supplier of castings for steel valves, and oilfield, locomotive and construction equipment, has about 325 employees at its Richmond Foundry.

Serious health violations include failing to perform a personal protective equipment assessment and not providing appropriate personal protective equipment to protect against hazards including silica, total dust and open flames; train employees on the hazards of excessive exposure to noise and the use of hearing protection; and perform an evaluation of respiratory hazards. A serious violation is one with the potential to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Serious safety violations include failing to provide machine guarding on a band saw, bench grinder and other power-driven tools; implement procedures and training for safe, permit-required confined space entry; provide specific energy control procedures; ensure the safe operation and condition of powered industrial trucks; and perform frequent inspections of overhead cranes.

The other-than-serious violations relate to the company's failure to complete OSHA injury and illness logs, and not labeling and identifying hazardous chemicals. Other-than-serious violations are issued when a violation has a direct relationship to job safety and health but is not serious in nature.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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