OSHA: Company ignored safety rules, 'cost a man his life'

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An Illinois tank-cleaning company's violation of safety rules resulted in the death of a New Orleans employee and the hospitalization of two others, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday.

OSHA is proposing $226,000 in fines against Dedicated TCS LLC, which is based in Lansing, Illinois, and also has cleaning facilities in New Orleans and Channahon (SHAN'-uh-hahn), Illinois.

"Dedicated TCS continues to ignore crucial safety procedures for working in confined space," Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, said in a news release. "This is the fourth time OSHA has found this employer in violation of federal safety standards. Sadly, the company's inaction has cost a man his life."

An employee in the company's Lansing office, who would not give her name or that of anyone else who could be quoted, said Dedicated TCS would not be making a comment.

OSHA said the company failed to test the atmosphere inside a railroad tank car before workers went inside to clean it last October, and failed to make them attach rescue lines to their harnesses.

Previous inspections in 2012 and 2014 also turned up violations that resulted in penalties of $142,100 and $79,464, respectively, news releases on OSHA's website show.

In January 2015, Calumet City area director Kathy Webb said the July 2014 inspection in Channahon was the third time in two years that the agency found that Dedicated was expecting employees "to work with hazardous materials ... in dangerous spaces without safety equipment."

That inspection, made in response to a complaint, found seven repeated and two serious violations.

"Dedicated TCS was cited for the same violations at the Channahon facility in September 2012 and the company's Lansing facility in November 2012," the statement said.