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Auto dealership deaths lead to safety citations

Auto dealership deaths lead to safety citations

U.S. federal safety regulators have cited and proposed $152,099 in penalties against an Alabama automobile dealership after three employees died and two were injured in a fire.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an investigation into Jasper, Alabama-based Carl Cannon Inc. in response to a flash fire and determined that the employees were using a flammable brake wash to scrub the service pit floor when the fire occurred, the agency said Monday in a statement. Three employees were fatally injured, a fourth was critically burned, and a fifth employee was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

OSHA issued Carl Cannon one willful and two serious safety citations for failing to implement all elements of a chemical hazard communication program, improperly storing flammable liquids and allowing unapproved electrical receptacles and equipment to be used in a hazardous area, according to the statement.

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

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.


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