OSHA has proposed over $50,000 in fines against an industrial gear manufacturer and $16,800 against a contractor, both based in Milwaukee, for alleged serious violations of federal workplace safety standards. The fines are a result of a gas explosion last year that claimed three lives and injured 45 others.
OSHA’s investigation resulted in eight serious violations of safety standards pertaining to employee and emergency training and response, failing to protect underground liquid propane piping from corrosion, and failure to conduct a site analysis to identify hazardous conditions and minimize employee exposure to explosion hazards.
“It is impossible to overstate the necessity for caution and adherence to safety regulations in dealing with volatile gas,” said OSHA’s Area Director in Milwaukee.
In a statement, the company disputed the allegations; the contractor claims it installed the pipeline properly, and its workers acted appropriately on the day of the explosion. However, if proper records of due diligence had been maintained, these claims could have be proven immediately. Company officials stated they would review OSHA’s findings to improve procedures and training.
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