KINGSTON, OK — A complaint of unsafe working conditions led U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors to discover the safety and health of employees at a well-known Oklahoma truck bed fabricator being placed at risk amid nearly two dozen safety and health violations.
OSHA's investigation at BigTex Trailer Manufacturing Inc., which does business as CM Truck Beds, found 20 serious violations, one willful and three repeated violations — prompting the agency to propose $535,411 in fines.
"CM Truck Beds has created an environment where workers may be seriously injured or killed as the scope of these violations clearly shows," said David Bates, OSHA area director in Oklahoma City. "We will not allow this company to continue to disregard worker safety."
In its investigation, begun on July 13, 2016, federal safety and health inspectors found workers who performed spray painting and powder coating didn't receive required medical evaluation and respirator fit tests. The agency also cited CM Truck Beds for repeated violations of failing to proof test chain slings and provide welding protection.
OSHA issued citations for a willful violation after inspectors found workers operated hydraulic press brakes without machine guards in place. In addition, they identified 20 serious violations that included failing to:
- Ensure safe use of the spray booth and prevent overexposure
- Safely cover floor holes, ensure exits are accessible and labeled properly
- Properly store compressed gas tanks
- Properly label chemicals
- Have a hazardous energy control program in place, and to train workers in its procedures
- Ensure safe use of powered industrial trucks
- Inspect and guard chain slings and sprockets as required
- Ensure safety guards were in place on a portable grinder
Headquartered in Madill, Big Tex's subsidiaries — CM Trailers and CM Truck Beds — employ about 500 workers in Oklahoma, with 120 of its employees at its newly constructed Kingston facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.