Coatings Unlimited, KCI Construction cited for OSHA violations

7:02 PM, Feb 28, 2013   |    comments
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KSDK) - Two area companies have been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA cited Bridgeton-based Coatings Unlimited Inc. for 14 safety violations from an incident that happened in August 2012 when 53-year-old Steve Webb died inside an 18-foot-deep vault manhole while building the Boschertown sanitary sewer lift station.

Webb was exposed to methyl ethyl ketone and collapsed and died.

KCI Construction Co. Inc., based in St. Louis, was the project's general contractor and was cited with one serious violation.

PDF: KCI Construction Co. Inc. citation

Rhonda Burke, Deputy Director for Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Labor, says three of Coatings Unlimited's violations were willful: not having safety precautions before sending an employee to work in six separately confined spaces, not testing the spaces for atmospheric conditions before someone enters, and not controlling exposure to methyl ethyl ketone through proper ventilation.

Burke says a willful violation "is committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health."

The company also received 10 serious violations, five of which were for violating the respiratory protection standards set by OSHA. Others were for not providing chemical-resistant gloves, not training on hazardous chemicals used, a lack of fire extinguishers on the scene during flammable liquid use, and for not having adequate portable extension ladders.

PDF: Coatings Unlimited, Inc. citations

Burke says a serious violation is "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."

Another citation, for not labeling storage tanks to show chemical hazards, was given but is not considered serious.

KCI Construction was cited for not conducting frequent inspections of job site material and equipment.

Coatings Unlimited Inc. has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Follow-up inspections will be performed to make sure the company becomes in compliance with the law.


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