Pennsylvania Employer Failed to Require Flame-Resistant Clothing for Natural Gas Work

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited J.R. Resources, a natural gas producer and operator, with eight safety and health violations at its Ringgold gas well site. OSHA began its inspection in August of 2012 after a worker died from sustaining injuries during a flash fire because he was not required or provided with flame-resistant clothing.The seven serious violations cited at this work site included failing to require and provide flame-resistant clothing to be work when working near natural gas, failing to provide fall protection from stairs on brine tanks, failing to provide a written hazard communication program and training, and failing to properly label tanks, and prevent workers from riding in the bucket of a backhoe.

J.R. Resources was also cited for using an electric pump in the presence of flammable materials. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer new, or should have known, of the hazard.

One other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to report the worker fatality to OSHA within eight hours, which is required by law. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. 

The OSHA area director said, “Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment, and that includes finding and fixing hazards associated with the workplace. OSHA will continue to hold employers responsible when they fail to protect their workers.”

Proposed fines for these violations totaled $22,400.

Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.

Cited sources:

US Labor Department’s OSHA cites J.R. Resources in Ringgold, Pa., following worker fatality in August 2012: Employerfailed to require and provide flame-resistant clothing for natural gas work, OSHA Regional News Release, March 5, 2013

PA Employer Failed to Require and Provide Flame-Resistant Clothing for Natural Gas Work,, March 6, 2013

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