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OSHA cites three companies following blast

RALEIGH — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited three companies for exposing workers to hazards during the construction of gas pipeline meter stations in Mississippi.

Mustang Engineering L.P., Grand Bluff Construction, LLC, and Priority Energy Services received citations for failing to protect their workers after one died and three others were critically injured.

OSHA began its investigation after a July 2009 explosion at a meter station construction site in Raleigh killed one worker. A second Priority Energy Services worker was critically injured, along with two Grand Bluff Construction workers.

“This tragedy could have been avoided if the companies involved had followed government and industry standards when conducting their pressure tests,” said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA’s Jackson Area Office.

OSHA has cited Mustang Engineering with two willful violations for exposing workers to struck-by hazards while performing pressure tests. Grand Bluff Construction has been cited with one willful and three serious violations related to exposing workers to struck-by hazards and failing to provide adequate training. Priority Energy Services has been cited with two serious violations for also exposing workers to struck-by hazards and one serious violation for allowing the use of a stairway without a railing.

Proposed penalties for the three companies total $189,400, of which Mustang Engineering is receiving penalties of $112,500; Grand Bluff Construction, $67,900; and, Priority Energy Services, $9,000.

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

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