Photo By Jason Morrison
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Sierra Pacific Industries has been fined $108,300 by Cal/OSHA for workplace safety and health violations after one of its employees was fatally injured when a pipeline on an air compressor exploded. Headquartered in Anderson, California, Sierra Pacific Industries is one of the largest lumber producers in the United States.
According to Cal/OSHA, on Sept. 17 an employee at Sierra Pacific's Lincoln facility was setting up a Quincy 300 Compressor when a pipeline on the air compressor exploded. Pieces of the pipeline hit two employees nearby, injuring one and killing another.
Cal/OSHA cited Sierra Pacific Industries for nine violations, including three serious accident-related, three serious, and three general in nature.
The serious accident-related violations were due to the company's failure to:
- Test the discharge piping prior to operating the Quincy 300 compressor and ensure proper connection
- Ensure a pressure relieving safety device was installed in the line between the compressor and block valve
- Ensure all pressure piping for the compressor was designed and fit in accordance with good engineering practice.
Cal/OSHA also cited the company for serious violations, noting a failure to ensure the energy within the pipeline system was controlled to prevent release during repair, and failure to ensure group lockout/tagout procedures were utilized and employees worked under supervision of a qualified person.
“Working on equipment attached to pressure vessels such as air compressors requires special precautions,” said Cal/OSHA Deputy Chief Debra Lee. “Employers must identify and evaluate potential hazards before assigning employees to perform work on this hazardous machinery and equipment.”
The other citations were issued for violations related to uncertified employees welding, failure to establish hazardous energy control procedures and operating equipment under conditions of stress.
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