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U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites International Diving Services for safety violations following investigation of worker's drowning in Paris, Texas

January 19, 2009

Region 6 News Release: OSHA 08-1656-DAL
Nov. 10, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710
 

U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA cites International Diving Services for safety violations following investigation of worker’s drowning in Paris, Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited International Diving Services of Arlington for safety violations following its investigation of an accident in Paris, Texas, in which a diver was killed.

OSHA’s Dallas Area Office began its investigation following the May 13 accident that took place at a water treatment facility in Paris, Texas, where a diver’s lifeline became entangled in the water pump of a 500,000- gallon in-ground water tank.

“The employer failed to ensure appropriate safety procedures were followed for entry into a permit-required confined space and failed to control the hazardous energy that ultimately took this employee’s life,” said Stephen Boyd, OSHA’s area director in Dallas.

OSHA cited the company with two alleged willful violations and three alleged serious violations. The willful violations involve failure to conduct a safety and health assessment for surface and underwater conditions when planning diving operations and to brief dive team members of any hazards or environmental conditions that may affect the safety of the diving operation. The serious violations involve entry into a confined space without verification it was safe for entry; the employer’s failure to ensure that the supervisor verified all tests were conducted, and all equipment and procedures were in place in accordance with confined space requirements; and failure to develop and document procedures for the control of potential hazardous energy.

The citations carry $64,400 in proposed penalties.

A willful citation is issued for violations committed with disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. OSHA defines a serious violation as a condition that exists where there is a substantial possibility death or serious physical harm can result.

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

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may contact OSHA’s Dallas Area Office at 214-320-2400 or call the agency’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. For more information, visitwww.osha.gov.

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