Flammable vapors ignite, burning employee at metal finishing plant
Containers of flammable liquids left open -- and near a lighter -- blocked fire exits and no training in the use of fire extinguishers were just some of the violations found by OSHA at a Syracuse, NY metal finishing plant after an employee was injured there on September 20th.
OSHA area director Christopher Adams called the incident a graphic example of what can happen when "basic, common-sense and legally required safeguards are neglected."
Anthony River Inc. was cited for nine serious and three repeat violations of workplace safety standards.
The worker was burned while trying to extinguish a fire that began when flammable vapors ignited in a storage room holding more than 800 gallons of flammable liquids.
OSHA's inspection identified several safety deficiencies involving the storage and dispensing of flammable liquids, including a lack of ventilation in the storage room. Additionally, the room was not constructed to meet the National Fire Protection Association's required fire-resistance rating, numerous containers of flammable liquids were open and uncovered, flammable liquids were dispensed without the nozzle and container being electrically bonded, and a lighter was allowed to be ignited in the storage room.
Other serious hazards include a lack of fire extinguisher training, blocked fire extinguisher access, ungrounded electrical equipment, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals, and uninspected and unrated overhead hoists and lifting devices.
The repeat violations involve hazards similar to those cited against the company by OSHA in 2010 and 2011, including the lack of an operating sprinkler system for a paint spray booth where flammable paint was used, the accumulation of combustible residue on paint spray booths and the use of an extension cord in place of fixed wiring.