Event Rental Co. Fined for Combustible Residues, Electrical Hazards, More

OSHA 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. The agency said Karl's is one of the largest event rental companies in the nation.

"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. "By ignoring safe practices, companies invite tragedy into the lives of their workers."

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 has 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.

The company also has received one other-than-serious violation with no penalty for improper mounting of fire extinguishers. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

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.

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