ISHN

Environmental cleanup company cited, fined for job site hazards (3/11)

March 11, 2008

True Blue Environmental Services, a Wallingford, Conn., environmental remediation company, has been hit with $95,750 in proposed fines from OSHA for allegedly failing to protect employees against hazards at two job sites

The bulk of the hazards were at the former Northampton Manufactured Gas Plant in Northampton, Mass. Following a two-month investigation that began in October, OSHA found that True Blue supervisors and employees removing coal tar from contaminated soil at that location had neither received the required training nor been certified to safely perform their duties.

Additional hazards included:

• employees overexposed to benzene, a hazardous substance contained in the coal tar, and inadequate controls to reduce their exposure levels;
• no initial air monitoring to determine exposure levels;
• no detailed evaluation of the site to identify hazards and necessary protective measures;
• no onsite safety and health supervisor;
• respirator deficiencies; and
• failure to record all workplace injuries.

OSHA issued three willful and six serious citations to True Blue for the conditions at the Northampton site. An additional willful citation was issued for the company's failure to provide site-specific electric safety training to employees performing remediation work at an electrical substation in Danbury, Conn.

Inspectors began investigating the Northampton site after receiving a complaint, said OSHA’s Mary Hoye, area director of the Springfield, Mass., office. OSHA performed inspections, interviewed employees and investigated injuries, she said.

The company intends to contest the citations.