An Alabama tank cleaning company exposed its employees to multiple confined space, fire and explosion hazards, according to OSHA, which has proposed $171,281 in penalties against American Remediation and Environmental Inc.

OSHA inspectors determined that the company allowed employees to enter a tank without testing for atmospheric hazards. The company was cited for allowing employees to use a non-explosion proof vacuum in a tank that transported a highly hazardous chemical; failing to provide appropriate personal protective clothing; authorizing employees to enter a permit-required confined space without a retrieval system; and failing to ensure confined space testing and monitoring equipment was properly maintained.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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.

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 help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit