OSHA fines Ferrellgas for Blue Rhino safety violations
07 February 2014
OSHA has imposed fines of $73,000 on Ferrellgas following its investigation into the explosion at the Blue Rhino propane depot in Tavares, Florida, last July. The investigation detailed 26 safety violations, 20 of them serious.
A spark from a forklift truck ignited a cloud of propane behind the plant, causing a blast that was felt a mile away. The resulting inferno sent hundreds of propane cylinders rocketing into the surrounding area. An estimated 85,000 propane tanks were stored on the premises when the fire broke out, including 50,000 ready for shipping.
OSHA said that Blue Rhino exposed employees to fire hazards by allowing them to drain leftover gas from the propane cylinders in the storage yard, and the company failed to properly train workers, many of whom were supplied by a temporary-employment agency.
Customer Driven Staffing, which provided Blue Rhino with most of its hourly workers, also was cited and fined $9,000.
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