Region 5 News Release: 10-1138-CHI
Aug. 23, 2010
Contact: Scott Allen
US Labor Department's OSHA fines Karl's Event Rental $85,000
Workers endangered by combustible material, electrical hazards
OAK CREEK, Wis. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Karl's Event Rental Inc. of Oak Creek, Wis., with 23 safety and health violations that include exposing workers to combustible residues and electrical hazards. Proposed penalties total $85,000.
"This company exposed its workers to unsafe and unhealthy conditions, and failed to properly train them in the correct use of personal protective and emergency equipment," said OSHA Area Director George Yoksas in Milwaukee, Wis. "By ignoring safe practices, companies invite tragedy into the lives of their workers."
Some of the 18 serious citations with proposed penalties of $45,000 include failure to remove accumulated combustible residues within spray booths, train workers in how to use respirators and fire extinguishing equipment, develop required procedures for machinery operation and have an adequate personnel platform when elevating workers. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
The company also has received four repeat citations with proposed penalties of $40,000 for failing to develop an energy control program, provide required energy control training to workers, develop and implement a written hazard communication program, and train workers on chemical hazards in their work area. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.
The company also has received one other-than-serious violation with no penalty for improper mounting of fire extinguishers. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Karl's Event Rental, which is one of the nation's largest event rental companies, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (321-6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.