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    U.S. Dept. of Labor's OSHA cites American Railcar Industries for safety violations following electrocution of worker near Maumelle

    2:33 PM, Jan 18, 2012   |    comments
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    MARMADUKE, Ark. (Jan. 18) -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Railcar Industries Inc., headquartered in Saint Charles, Mo., for 10 serious safety violations after an employee was electrocuted while performing repair work on a tanker-style railcar July 25 at the company's work site near Marmaduke.

    "Exposing workers to electrocution hazards without proper safeguards and training is inexcusable," said Carlos Reynolds, the agency's area director in Little Rock. "It is the employer's responsibility to create a safe and healthful workplace where preventable hazards don't cost workers their lives."

    Upon receiving a fatality report from the employer, OSHA's Little Rock Area Office initiated an investigation July 26 at the company's facility on Highway 34 East and found that workers were being exposed to electrical shocks from welding equipment. The violations include failing to provide personal protection for employees conducting cutting and welding operations; properly mark the power supply and control boxes for voltage, current and wattage; use fixed wiring instead of flexible cords and protect the wiring from possible damage; remove defective electrical equipment from service; and inspect and mark web slings. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

    American Railcar Industries, which employs about 260 workers at the Marmaduke facility and about 1,500 workers nationwide, designs and manufactures railcars.

    Proposed penalties total $61,400. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

    To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Little Rock office at 501-224-1841.

    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 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 http://www.osha.gov.

    (Copyright 2012 U.S. Department of Labor)

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