Kennecott cited for willful safety violation - Rio Tinto and Kennecott slammed for pollution proposaPublished by MAC on 2003-11-13
Kennecott cited for willful safety violation - Rio Tinto and Kennecott slammed for pollution proposal
From: Copperhead News (USWA) No. 20
November 13, 2003
The Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Utah Labor Commission has issued a citation to Kennecott Utah Copper after an investigation into an incident at the smelter that left two contract employees from Crossroad Construction severely burned.
The citation alleges a "willful" violation of safety standards and proposes a fine of $22,500 against Kennecott. The two contractors were working on a combustion air line when they became engulfed in flames.
In early 2001, a similar incident occurred when another contract employee was injured while working on the same air line under the same circumstances, according to the citation.
The following investigation found that the accident could be prevented by updating the company's lock out/tag out procedures to ensure the oxygen supply was cut off before any work on the pipe took place.
Kennecott failed to make the necessary changes which could have prevented this latest incident.
In addition to the proposed fine, the state has required the company to take corrective action and imposed a deadline of October 15, 2003.
It should also be noted that a recent death at the smelter is under investigation and that all of these recent accidents have involved employees working for contractors, whom Kennecott has employed as cost-cutting measures.