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Cal/OSHA recommends fines in industrial accident

Flammable materials are often used or present in industrial settings. The California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets rules and regulations regarding the handling of those flammable materials. When a company fails to follow proper handling and safety measures, an industrial accident can occur.

For instance, in May 2014, there was an explosion at National Distribution Services Inc. (NDS). Cal/OSHA conducted an investigation and issued a citation because the company had not adhered to safety procedures required by law. According to the results of the investigation, NDS failed to conduct training sessions for employees regarding the dangers of flammable vapors.

The failure to follow safety protocols and lack of training may be what led to the explosion that killed one man and caused another to suffer serious burns to over 50 percent of his body. The two were doing some welding on a tanker truck with an unknown quantity of crude oil still inside. The tanker -- which held 9,000 gallons -- had not undergone the required process of purging and was not tested for flammable vapors prior to the welding.

This was not the first time the owner of NDS was involved in this type of incident. He actually spent time in prison for the 1993 explosion that killed an employee. Again, the tanker the welder was working on had failed to go through the proper purging and testing.

Every California company should do what it can to prevent an industrial accident and injury to its workers. Workers' compensation benefits are available to workers who are injured and for families who lose a loved one at work. These benefits may help with the financial issues that accompany work-related accidents. However, they do not -- and should not -- replace the responsibilities of an employer to its employees.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Cal/OSHA Cites Fuel Distributor After Fatal Explosion", Nov. 10, 2014

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