Hancock company where worker crushed to death by pipe has history of safety violations

One Jindal Tubular USA employee is dead and second was injured Friday morning in an incident at the Port Bienville manufacturing facility, which has a history of safety violations.

The fire department responded to a call at 8:15 a.m. about an accident at the pipe manufacturing plant, West Hancock County Fire Chief Deedra Burton said.

She said a pipe rolled over on two employees. They had been pulled from under the pipe by the time firefighters arrived, Burton said. One employee was flown to a Louisiana hospital while another was taken off the site by ambulance, she said.

Tyde Woody, age 25 of Hancock County, died and an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Records maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration show that Jindal has been repeatedly cited for safety violations, some of them serious, since 2019.

In September 2019, a Jindal employee was hospitalized after a pipe rushed toward the 40-foot pipe he was working near, trapping him between them, an OSHA accident report says. The employee suffered chest and leg abrasions in the accident, the report said.

That same month, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued 12 violations against Jindal, with seven classified as “serious.” One violation said the company did not remove water on a floor next to heavy-duty machinery and another said it did not replace hydraulic pumps guards around rotating parts, which exposed employees to amputation risks, according to OSHA.

The company faced a fine of $66,300 for those violations, according to an OSHA database that lists enforcement cases with initial penalties of $40,000 or more.

OSHA described a more recent serious violation that involved the potential for someone to be crushed. It said, “On or about June 12, 2023, the employer did not provide machine guarding for the Cleanout Rotator rollers where they contact the pipes exposing employees to crushing hazards.”

OSHA imposed a $11,162.00 penalty.

Jindal is a tenant of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. The commission’s executive director, Blaine LaFontaine, said the port kept railroad tracks clear for emergency responders.

“We have not had any details associated with what happened,” LaFontaine said. He was aware that Friday’s incident was not the first accident involving workers at Jindal and the port hopes to work with industrial tenants on workplace safety and emergency response.

That same month, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued 12 violations against Jindal Tubular, and it classified seven of those violations as “serious.” One violation said the company did not remove water on a floor next to heavy-duty machinery and another said it did not replace hydraulic pumps guards around rotating parts, which exposed employees to amputation risks, according to OSHA.

The company faced a fine of $66,300 for those violations, according to an OSHA database that lists enforcement cases with initial penalties of $40,000 or more.

A Jindal representative has. not returned the Sun Herald’s calls about Friday’s incident.