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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Legend Directional Services LLC for improper storage of compressed gases after an employee died in an explosion at the Harpersville Reinforcement Project in Harpersville, Alabama, the agency announced Wednesday.
OSHA investigators found that flammable welding gases stored in an unventilated storage container exploded when the employee opened the container door, according to a statement. OSHA then cited the drilling company for storing compressed welding gas cylinders and liquefied petroleum tanks in an unventilated container, failing to store acetylene and oxygen cylinders separately, and failing to train employees on hazards associated with flammable chemicals, according to the statement.
Weatherford, Texas-based Legend Directional Services faces $28,455 in penalties, which includes the maximum allowed for the fatality-related citation, according to the citation.
"Employers who use hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required to train employees on chemical safety data sheets and labels, and incorporate safety controls to protect employees from those hazards," Ramona Morris, OSHA’s Birmingham area office director, said in the statement. "This tragedy could have been avoided if the employer had followed required procedures for storing dangerous gases."
Officials with the company could not immediately be reached for comment.
Federal workplace safety regulators have cited and proposed penalties totaling $118,643 against three oil and gas firms for exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards after five employees suffered fatal injuries.