Combustible Dust, Other Hazards Cited after Facility Roof Collapse

OSHA is proposing $166,950 in penalties against M&B Metal Products Co. and its subcontractor, Oak Mountain Construction Co., following a roof collapse at the M&B manufacturing plant in Leeds, Ala. A post-collapse inspection by the agency revealed 46 alleged safety and health violations.

M&B Metal, a manufacturer of drycleaning and industrial hangers, is being assessed one willful violation with a $44,000 fine for allowing explosive paper dust to accumulate on machinery and the shop floor. The company also is being fined $117,950 for 42 serious violations related to employees' exposure to struck-by, fall, electrical, and noise hazards, as well as one other-than-serious violation.

Oak Mountain received two serious safety violations with $5,000 in penalties for exposing employees to fall hazards and not conducting jobsite inspections to identify fall and roof collapse hazards. The subcontractor was performing repairs on the roof support system when it collapsed in May.

"Management disregarded employees' safety and health by requiring them to work in a structurally deficient building and knowingly exposing them to dangerous accumulations of explosive dust," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham, Ala., which is the office that conducted the investigation. The companies have 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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