OSHAA complaint that workers were not evacuated during a natural gas leak brought OSHA to Badger Metal Finishing Inc.’s St. Francis metal finishing facility, where the agency found 17 safety violations. Proposed penalties total $46,200.

"Failing to evacuate workers during a natural gas leak shows a serious disregard for worker safety and health," said Chris Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee.

The violations also include unguarded stairways and floors leading to a fall hazard; lack of eye protection; inadequate lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy; and blocked electrical panels and use of damaged extension cords. Additionally, violations of OSHA's respiratory protection program standards were cited, such as lack of a written respiratory program, failing to conduct medical evaluations for respirator use and deficient cleaning. The company also failed to train workers on how to operate powered industrial vehicles and how to remove damaged vehicles from service.

The company was also cited for failing to inspect the lockout/tagout program annually, inadequate labeling of hazardous chemical containers and failing to provide workers with information and training on the use of hazardous chemicals.

Badger Metal Finishing conducts metal polishing and finishing applications and employs 37 workers.