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OSHA cites contractors after employee suffers severe burns


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited two contractors after an employee suffered severe burns.

OSHA inspected Rock Springs, Wyoming-based Coleman Construction Inc. after an employee suffered third-degree burns when compressed oxygen inside an underground duct caused a fire in May. The subcontractor was cited for “failing to provide mechanical ventilation or an underground air monitoring system and failing to report the hospitalization of the burned employee in a timely manner,” OSHA said in a statement on Wednesday. The agency proposed penalties of $189,762.

In addition, Billings, Montana-based general contractor JTL Group, which does business as Knife River, was cited for not ensuring that safety precautions were taken at the worksite and is facing proposed penalties of $59,754, according to the statement.

“Confined workspaces pose an immediate and substantial danger to workers,” Arthur Hazen, Billings, Montana-based OSHA area director, said in a statement. “It is vitally important that employers properly identify, test, control and ventilate the atmosphere to ensure the safety of workers in confined spaces.”

Representatives for Coleman Construction and JTL Group could not immediately be reached for comment.