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OSHA Fines $229,000 for the Death of Two Workers

OSHA Fines $229,000 for the Death of Two Workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued out $229,000 in fines to two companies in connection with a July 2010 explosion that killed two welders. Northeast Energy Management Inc. of Indiana, Pa. and Huntley and Huntley Inc. of Monroeville, Pa. are the two companies. The incident occurred at the Murry Heirs #6 well site owned by Huntley in Cheswick.

The two men were workers from Northeast Energy. Huntley and Huntley had contracted Northeast Energy to repair a leaking barrel tank at the well site. The former was responsible for making sure that Northeast Energy had properly trained its workers on safe welding procedures. In a press release, OSHA said, “These companies did not ensure that proper welding procedures were followed resulting in this tragic loss of life”. Robert Szymanski, the director of OSHA's Pittsburgh area office, said, “OSHA remains committed to holding employers legally responsible when they fail to adhere to federal law and compromise the safety of workers”.

Northeast Energy was slapped with a heavy fine of $159,390 for two willful violations. The violations involved failure to ensure workers were welding on a thoroughly cleaned tank that did not contain flammable materials that might produce toxic vapors if subjected to heat and determine if there were any combustible and hazardous materials present. Huntley and Huntley received a citation for one willful violation for failing to make sure that Northeast Energy trained welders and supervisors suitably in safely operating welding equipments.