Four companies are being cited for multiple violations and proposed penalties totaling $1.75 million by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (known as Cal/OSHA).
According to a press release, Cal/OSHA cited four companies for multiple citations and high penalties following a confined space incident that killed one worker. In 2021, the employee was working in a regenerator overflow well when he lost consciousness. An emergency crew retrieved him but was unable to resuscitate him. An investigation found that a welding torch had been leaking argon inside of the well.
Cal/OSHA cited Valero Refinery of Benicia and three contractors, Total Safety, JT. Thorpe & Son, Inc. and T.R.S.C., Inc., for safety violations and proposed a total penalty of $1.75 million.
Valero Refinery was cited for four willful serious and five serious citations and proposed penalties of $528,750. Total Safety was cited for six willful serious, seven serious and four general citations and proposed penalties of $988,000. JT. Thorpe & Son, Inc. was cited for one willful serious, one serious and four regulatory citations and proposed penalties of $135,500. T.R.S.C Inc. was cited for eight serious, three general and five regulatory citations and proposed penalties of $101,125.
Occupational injuries from a confined space have led to the death of 1,030 workers from 2011 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accidents like these are preventable. To learn more about confined spaces, visit OSHA.gov.