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OSHA fines Karl’s Event Rental $85,000

August 26th, 2010 / By: / Industry News

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Aug. 23 that it has cited Karl’s Event Rental Inc. of Oak Creek, Wis., with 23 safety and health violations that include exposing workers to combustible residues and electrical hazards. Proposed penalties total $85,000.

“This company exposed its workers to unsafe and unhealthy conditions, and failed to properly train them in the correct use of personal protective and emergency equipment,” said OSHA Area Director George Yoksas in Milwaukee, Wis. “By ignoring safe practices, companies invite tragedy into the lives of their workers.”

Ken Keberle of Karl’s Event Rental says that the citations are the result of a long administrative process and that, under the company’s new management, Karl’s is cooperating fully with OSHA to address every single issue. Karl’s has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Some of the 18 serious citations with proposed penalties of $45,000 include failure to remove accumulated combustible residues within spray booths, train workers in how to use respirators and fire extinguishing equipment, develop required procedures for machinery operation and have an adequate personnel platform when elevating workers. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

The company also received four repeat citations with proposed penalties of $40,000 for failing to develop an energy control program, provide required energy control training to workers, develop and implement a written hazard communication program and train workers on chemical hazards in their work area. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

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