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What? Houston company turns a deaf ear to hearing protection, pays a price

March 16, 2012
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hearing protectionOSHA has cited Piping Technology and Products Inc. of Houston, TX for one willful and 11 serious violations following a health inspection that found workers exposed to excessive noise levels and other hazards at the company's Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $147,000 -- that's in addition to more than a $1 for willful and serious violations found after a June 2011 inspection.

"This is the not the first time Piping Technology and Products has jeopardized the safety of its workers," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas.

The company was cited for failing to establish and maintain a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels; failing to ensure the use of hearing protection, ear plugs or ear muffs to prevent hearing loss; failing to perform a personal protective equipment assessment; failing to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards; failing to ensure emergency eye wash was used and showers were taken; and failing to properly label containers stored with chemicals.

Based on the findings of the June 2011 inspection, OSHA placed Piping Technology in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.

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