OSHA Cites Contractor Following Employee's Death from Exposure
to High-Pressure Water Jet Cutting Streams
A fatal accident in June at a job site in Idaho has resulted in
citations and fines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
against a Colorado company for failure to protect workers from
the hazards of powerful liquid cutting streams.
OSHA issued a willful and a serious citation to a Denver contractor
with $63,000 in proposed penalties, for alleged safety violations
at a job in Soda Springs, Idaho.
In June 2001 the employee was killed when a hose coupling on a
high-pressure liquid cutter failed, and he was injected in the
abdomen with a water stream. The alleged willful citation stated
that power operated tools were not equipped with guards to protect
operators and other employees from hazards created by exposure
to liquid cutting streams.
"Workers were exposed to cutting streams of approximately
36,000 pounds per square inch while cutting and removing the rubber
lining of a phosphoric acid tank," said the OSHA area director
for the agency's Boise office, which conducted the investigation.
Alleged serious violations included:
- failure to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards
in that employees were exposed to ultra high pressure water jet
- lack of an accident prevention program;
- use of machinery, tools, material and equipment that did not
comply with applicable safety regulations;
- lack of employee safety training;
- inadequate personal protective equipment for workers;
- failure to provide a written respiratory protection program
or suitable in-line air-purifying sorbent beds and filters; and
- use of oil-lubricated compressors to supply breathing air that
were not equipped with alarms to monitor carbon monoxide levels.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations.
Region 10 News Release: #01-199, Dec. 11, 2001
Contact: Jeannine Lupton, Phone: 206-553-7620
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