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Keep Houston Press Free
4

Houston Plant Gets Hit With $1.4 Million Fine

CES Logo White.JPG
​The website for CES Environmental Services Inc., a waste treatment and disposal outfit located in Houston, states that the company "will, at all times, use a proactive approach towards health, safety and environmental issues towards our employees and clients work environment."

Well, maybe not "at all times."

On Monday, the feds announced that the company is being fined more than $1.4 million for alleged safety violations related to a July explosion that killed one employee.

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a worker was cleaning a tank when a piece of equipment set fire to some vapors, sparking an explosion. The man reportedly died from a combination of severe burns and injuries to his head.

OSHA says that it has issued a total of 71 violations to the company, alleging, among many things, that numerous pieces of electrical equipment were unsafe to operate in the tank, that CES Environmental Services failed to ventilate the tanks, exposing workers to toxins, and that the company stored flammable and reactive chemicals together, creating potential for an explosion.

This was the third death in less than a year at facilities owned by the company, says OSHA, the other two occurring at Port Arthur plants in December 2008 and April 2009.

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