The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited French gas supplier Air Liquide Large Industries US for one willful and one serious safety violation and asked them to pay $77,000 in fines for what they described as “unsafe working conditions” at its facility in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The citations come after OSHA initiated an inspection of the company’s steam methane reformer plant on Jan. 27. The inspection came about as a result of a complaint about unsafe working conditions.
The willful citation was issued for the company’s failure to conduct air monitoring to assess employee exposure to carbon monoxide gas. The serious citation was issued for its failure to protect workers from a potentially hazardous atmosphere. The problem came from valves that had been inadequately maintained and were found to be leaking.
Air Liquide Large Industries US is a limited partnership and subsidiary of Paris-based Air Liquide, a supplier of gases, technologies and services for industry and health uses. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to fix the problem, request an informal conference with OSHA area director, or contest the fines before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
In response to the citations, the company released the following statement, which hints at the option they plan to take:
“The health, safety and security of our employees, and the communities in which we operate, is the foundation of Air Liquide’s business. We have fully cooperated with OSHA and have provided all information requested of us to date. While Air Liquide is aware of two citations issued by OSHA on July 20, 2016, we strongly disagree with the findings and conclusions contained in the citations. As a result, we expect we will exercise our right to vigorously contest these citations, with the intent to have them vacated . “