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Confined space hazards persist at Ill. tank manufacturer

July 27, 2012
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OSHA has cited Bushnell Illinois Tank Co., which operates as Schuld/Bushnell in Valley, with eight safety and health violations based on a follow-up inspection for hazards associated with workers who enter and work in permit-required confined spaces. Proposed penalties total $116,270.

Bushnell Illinois Tank Co. is located in Bushnell, Ill., and manufactures tanks for agriculture and commercial applications such as grain and feed storage.

OSHA initiated the follow-up inspection at Schuld/Bushnell in January 2012 to determine if hazardous conditions continued to exist after a January 2011 inspection resulted in citations of OSHA's permit-required confined space standard. The standard establishes procedures to protect workers who must enter, work in or exit spaces with configurations that hinder their activities. In addition, the configurations of such spaces may increase workers' exposure to hazards such as entrapment, engulfment and/or hazardous atmospheric conditions, which can lead to serious physical injury, illness or death.

A willful violation has been cited for the presence of these hazards without an employer permit-required confined space program. Workers entered tanks to weld the bottom to the cylinder, attach ladders and aeration fans, and apply sealant in the finishing area.

Four repeat violations involve failing to provide a permit-required confined space hazard evaluation prior to employee entry, provide appropriate equipment for making permit-required confined space entries, test and monitor permit-required confined space conditions prior to entry and train workers on entering permit-required confined spaces. These violations previously were cited during the 2011 inspection..

Two serious violations relate to a lack of worker training to establish proficiency in permit-required confined space procedures and a lack of determination regarding exposure of employees to the chemical hexavalent chromium.

One other-than-serious violation addresses hazards associated with failing to implement a respirator program relative to proper storage of respirators.
The citations in this case can be viewed at www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cits_Insp316019215.pdf*.

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