Region 4 News Release: USDL: 00-48
Thursday, March 02, 2000
Contact: John Hall
OSHA FINES ALABAMA FIREWORKS MANUFACTURER $64,750 FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION OF FATAL EXPLOSION
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Luna Tech, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $64,750 following a fatal explosion at the company's Owens Cross Roads, Alabama, location.
According to John Hall, OSHA's Birmingham area director, the agency initiated an investigation in September 1999 after an explosion hospitalized three employees, one of whom later died.
Following the inspection, OSHA cited Luna Tech for twenty-one serious safety and health violations. The majority of the alleged violations pertained to OSHA's process safety management standard which addresses exposures to highly hazardous chemicals. These included failure to:
- properly train employees in operating processes and procedures;
- perform hazard analyses;
- develop written operating procedures, and
- establish and implement an emergency action plan.
Other violations alleged in the citation included a lack of approved wiring, unguarded belts and pulleys and lack of a respiratory protection program.
"Improper handling of hazardous chemicals can have dire consequences," said Hall. "Following OSHA standards, providing adequate training and having a workable emergency action plan in case of an accident, raises the safety quotient considerably."
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Luna Tech, Inc., has fifteen working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the work site was conducted by OSHA's area office located at 2047 Canyon Road, Birmingham, Ala. 35216; telephone: (205) 731-1534.
# # #