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Nitro Gas Facility Cited After Worker Death

A nitrogen gas facility located next door to Pennsylvania has been cited for numerous federal workplace safety violations.

AC&S Inc. was slapped by inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with 12 serious violations at its Nitro, West Virginia, manufacturing plant.

Among the dangerous conditions at the facility:

  • Defective air hoods for workers
  • Inadequate worker training
  • Unsafe handrails on stairs.

OSHA launched the investigation in July 2012 following the death of a worker doing sandblasting.

During the sandblasting, the air line for a supplied air hood was mistakenly hooked up to a nitrogen gas line and the worker became unconscious. OSHA cited AC&S for failing to label nitrogen lines at connection points and not ensuring that breathing air couplings were incompatible with other gas systems.

Other serious violations found at the Nitro plant:

  • Failing to provide training on hazardous chemicals
  • Failing to ensure stairways wider than 44 inches had handrails on each side
  • Failing to use approved electrical chain hoists
  • Failing to develop a mechanical integrity program.

A “serious violation” means there is substantial probability that a worker could be killed or seriously hurt as a result of the hazardous condition.

Proposed penalties against AC&S Inc. total $42,700.

Every year thousands of construction workers and laborers are killed or seriously injured while working at job sites in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

According to U.S. statistics, there are more than 5 million work-related injuries and illnesses and approximately 6,000 workplace fatalities each year.

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