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  • OSHA Requirements Texas

    We are a fairly small company, around 40 employees total, and we have 3 locations: one of which is in TX, the other two (including the corporate HQ which I am it) are in Louisiana.

    We had an employee pass away recently at our TX location while working on a routine piece of equipment, something he did every day. Just a freak accident.
    Can I get someone to tell me what we're facing as far as OSHA procedures?
    i.e. what documentation we will have to produce, what OSHA will be looking for, what they may issue citations for, etc? We are a safe company, been in business for 7 years and never had so much as an injury. I would really just like to be as prepared as possible, as we have never experienced this.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    First off I'm sorry to hear about the work related loss you suffered, it's never easy.

    Now for the rest, starting with the basics;

    Has anyone within your organization notified OSHA of the fatality or was it done by the AHJ of the medical response?

    Do you have someone in house who's job it is to oversee the Safety Program?

    Have you initiated an in house investigation of EXACTLY what occured? "Freak Accident" is not going to be an acceptable explanation. Most accidents are avoidable in one way or another and that's what OSHA is going to want to dig in to?
    "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response and for your condolenses.

      The employee was injured (hit in the head by an air compressor hose that blew) on Tuesday of last week, and flown to the hospital, where he underwent brain surgery. We informed our insurance agent and our Workers Comp carrier immediately and they were on top of it. Employee was then was on life support until Friday evening, when his family decided to take him off of it. When he passed away Friday evening, I did call the appropriate OSHA office, and left two messages. OSHA returned my call this morning (Monday), and I informed the compliance manager of the details and answered his questions. They will be in touch as to a date when they will be going out to the location t begin their investigation.

      I oversee the safety administration, as well as do HR; we are a fairly small company so we don't have a great deal of safety issues and we don't have a very extensive safety program to be honest. We do have a safety manual, and a procedure for reporting hazards/injuries.

      My two owners went to Houston immediately after the accident occured, and we had an injury report drawn up.. My owners looked at the machine, and spoke to the other 2 employees that were at the shop at the time of the accident (although no on actually saw it.) So, yes, in that respect an 'in house investigation' was definitely done.
      According to my owners, the employee (who was a 20 year veteran of this industry) used a hose that really shouldn't have been used on that particular air compressor. Why he chose to use that hose, we will never know.

      What I am trying to find out now is what OSHA will do, and what they will require in the way of documentation .. I feel that we are pretty safety conscious, and our track record proves that, but since we are a fairly new, smaller company, we do not have extensive safety programs in place as perhaps a larger, more established company may.

      Thanks

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      • #4
        So far it sounds like everyone has done the right things.

        Don't give anything to the Investigator until they ask for it, however if I were you I'd start gathering the following;

        -Any and all training records for that Employee
        -Any and all operating manuals/instructions for the involved equipment
        -A copy of the incident report done by the owners
        -A copy of any procedural changes implemented (if any) since the incident
        -Copies of your 300 log for the last few years
        -Any and all maintenance records for the invloved equipment, internal and external

        They may request some documentation in advance, by all means have that material ready when they arrive.
        "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor

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        • #5
          Thank you so much. It's good to hear that we've done things by the book thus far.

          No formal documentation was completed when the employee was trained; is that going to be something that OSHA will cite for? (I know that JSA's are often used, but now sure if that's a legal requirement?)

          We've got everything else on your list lined up .. One thing I was concerned about; logs of safety meetings. Is that something that's required by OSHA to happen at a certain frequency? I believe I read quarterly somewhere. If we do not have signed documentation showing all employees have attended safety meetings at least quarterly, is that something they can cite for? We really do try and disucss safety during the monthly meetings, but not all employees are always present, and not all of the attendees actually sign in..

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, this is probably going to come out sounding wrong but, They're going to find violations. It's pretty much a given at this point.

            If you don't have attendance sheets, you don't have them, you can't stress about that now. Tell the Investigator what you do, how often, topics covered etc. and it may not even be an issue, you never know. When they interview other Employees they should be able to verify that what you tell them is true so it may be a "correction action item" to them.

            If you're not aware (since I just mentioned it above and it reminded me) anything discussed with employees is strictly confidential and WILL be done privately, no one from management will be allowed in the room and anything discussed should not be discussed with the Employee after the fact.

            Management may, if they so choose, have legal counsel present during the interview. The trend these days is to videotape most interviews so don't be surprised if that happens as well.
            "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor

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            • #7
              OK, thank you .. Just concerned, I've heard about the $100K citations !

              But thanks for the info, we'll just be honest and hope for the best and learn from mistakes.

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Unless it's changed very recently the top max fine should be about 7k per violation.

                Violations noted as repeated or willful they cap at about 70k per violation. Criminal can go sky high.
                "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor

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                • #9
                  E&S, glad to see you back to answer this one (although not the type of question one likes to see).
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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