OSHA has cited Carl Cannon Inc., an automobile dealership, for serious safety violations after three employees died and two were injured at its Jasper facility.

OSHA initiated an investigation in response to a flash fire. Inspectors determined that the employees were using a flammable brake wash to scrub the service pit floor when the fire occurred. As a result, three employees were fatally injured, and a fourth was critically burned. A fifth employee was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

OSHA issued Carl Cannon Inc. one willful and two serious safety citations for failing to implement all elements of a chemical hazard communication program, improper storage of flammable liquids, and allowing unapproved electrical receptacles and equipment to be used in a hazardous area. Proposed penalties total $152,099.

“Failure to effectively implement a hazard communication program has tragically resulted in the loss of lives and serious injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Ramona Morris, in Birmingham. “Employers must ensure employees are trained and aware of the hazards associated with handling flammable chemicals.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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.