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TIMET Corporation Responds to OSHA Statements and Penalties Assigned to the Company

In light of being assigned a $42,000 dollars in fines and sustaining a public rebuking by OSHA in the process, Timet Corp company spokespersons offered statements concerning the ongoing engagement between OSHA and Timet Corp relating to a boiler explosion on March 27th at the company’s Caernarvon Township facility. Located at 900 Hemlock Road, the Timet Corp plant had employed Jacob Lopez, 27 years old from Lancaster County, for nearly three years prior to the March explosion, which killed Lopez and caused three other employees to seek medical attention.

An ensuing investigation conducted by OSHA, which investigates all employment-related deaths in the relatively large list of industries subject to the administration’s oversight, revealed the probable cause of the fatal boiler explosion as the result of the boiler in question remaining knowingly in a state of disrepair by company officials, who did not replace a defective electron beam furnace component damaged in a prior explosion a month earlier. Furthermore, Timet Corp failed to take action upon the defective hydrogen pressure gauge in the boiler system, which presented grave and serious risk of a high likelihood of employee injury or death, if left unrepaired, as it was. In the end, Jacob Lopez, a father of two children, expired as the result of the boiler explosion, which ejected a massive boiler lid into Mr. Lopez, causing his death, while also causing the temporary hospitalization of three other workers.

According to the OSHA complaint filed with Timet Corporation, the following workplace safety violations were observed, including:

  • A total of eight (8) violations categorized as “serious” by OSHA, which in practice infers that said violations posed an immediate and real risk of injury or death to employees
  • Of these violations, furnace violations and the boiler hydrogen pressure gauge left unrepaired were most notable, as these incidents caused the serious risks alleged by OSHA’s regulations concerning the proper maintenance and operations of these types of equipment
  • Other OSHA violations deemed serious and incurring fines included the failure to provide for proper emergency exit pathways for employees, the existence of a number of electrical violations posing electrocution and fire hazards to workers, and unsafe storage facilities posing serious risk to employees, should storage items not remain fastened securely.

In total, the fines for workplace safety violations applied to Timet Corp totaled $42,000 dollars, which the company appears willing to contest in the near future. Fortunately, companies and businesses facing an OSHA violations notification are statutorily allowed to use the next fifteen (15) business days to respond to OSHA notifications, including the option to comply or contest the investigative outcome issued by OSHA.

Timet Corp, which mines and produces nearly twenty percent of the international market share for titanium market annually, responded to the formal findings issued by OSHA this past September. In brief, the company reaffirmed its commitment to the safety of its workers, while showing deep regret over the loss of Mr. Lopez to his family members and fellow co-workers. However, Timet Corp took the opportunity to publicly state its non-agreement with the OSHA investigatory findings, while also noting that the company intended to continue discussions with OSHA over this incident in a more appropriate forum.

References:

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20151914.htm

https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/TIMET_1065616.pdf

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-berks/osha-improperly-equipped-furnace-led-to-fatal-explosion-at-manufacturing-plant-in-berks/35661392

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