Rail Car Firm Fined for Violations that Took Lives

OMAHA, Neb. – The Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services was approached by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with a proposed $936,000 fine for 33 job safety and health violations. Two workers also lost their lives in April.

“Accidents and injuries do not just happen. And they are not just the result of worker behaviors, as the carriers’ ‘Behavior Based Safety’ programs would have us believe,” Railway Workers United Secretary Ron Kaminkow said.

The two dead workers were identified as Dallas Foulk, 40, and Adrian LaPour, 44. Nebraska Railway Cleaning Services was put into the OSHA’s special watchdog Severe Violators Enforcement Program.

“Our hearts go out to the families of these workers, whose deaths were so senseless and preventable,” said OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels. “This isn’t the first time this employer put its workers’ lives at risk – but OSHA will do everything in our power to ensure it is the last.”

This is not the first time that Nebraska Railway has been in violation. The company also broke job safety and health rules in 2013, and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether Nebraska improperly disposed of hazardous waste.

“This company regularly failed to use appropriate equipment and procedures to keep their employees safe, and in this case it had tragic consequences,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s Omaha area director. “The company needs to immediately reevaluate is procedures for entering and cleaning railcars,” stated Funke.

Source: PAI