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Asphalt burns bring $260k fine for Montana highway contractor

26 Apr 19 A highway contractor is facing penalties of more than US$260,000 after three workers suffered burns at a mobile asphalt-mixing plant in Montana, USA.

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nelcon Inc - a highway contractor based in Kalispell, Montana - for exposing workers to burns and falls at a the plant in Laurel. The company faces US$261,418 in penalties for 23 serious violations.

The three workers suffered burns when ambient oil was poured into a larger hot oil tank. One of the workers was hospitalised after falling approximately 15 feet during the incident. OSHA inspectors determined that Nelcon Inc failed to use fall protection systems; guard machinery; provide adequate personal protective equipment; control hazardous energy; and report a work-related incident leading to in-patient hospitalisation within 24 hours, as required.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

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