OSHA Fines Trucking Company After Worker Death in Arkansas

Sherman Brothers Trucking Inc., doing business as Team Transport Inc., was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 11 safety and health violations and fined $113,400 after the death of a worker at its Crossett, Arkansas location. The inspection started in April 2013 after a temporary worker, who was cleaning the inside of a tanker trailer without proper training, was found unconscious and later died from an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. The following is an explanation of the violations:

 As we have written previously, a willful violation was cited for failing to maintain air monitoring equipment and evaluate permit-required confined space conditions prior to entry. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The seven serious violations cited include failing to guard open floor holes to prevent falling into the next level; stabilize a platform used to access a tanker cleaning area with railings or posts to prevent fall hazards; and train workers on confined spaces and hazard communications. The employer also failed to implement respirator, confined space and hazard communications programs.

 A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The three other-than-serious violations involve the availability of confined space training certifications and ensuring drums and totes containing chemicals were properly labeled with identity and hazard warnings. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

 Team Transport is part of the S.B. Inc. family of companies, headquartered in Harrisburg, Oregon.  The companies include Sherman Brothers Heavy Trucking and Lee’s Trucking and Sound Transportation.  The employer had 15 business days from the receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA Release