W.Va. Firm Fined $154,000 Following Deaths of Three Workers in Explosion

"This tragedy could have been prevented," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "It is imperative that employers take steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment."

OSHA has cited AL Solutions Inc. for exposing workers to workplace safety and health hazards following an explosion and fire at the company's New Cumberland, W.Va., facility that caused the deaths of three workers. Penalties total $154,000.

OSHA began an investigation in response to the incident that occurred Dec. 9, 2010. As a result, the company received citations for one willful, 16 serious, and one other-than-serious violation.

"This tragedy could have been prevented," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "It is imperative that employers take steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment."

The willful violation is the company's use of an unsafe water sprinkler system with flammable metals, which created an explosion hazard.

Serious violations include the company's failure to provide a properly designed gas detection system for hydrogen, provide over-pressure protection, safely store flammable metals, provide safe egress, provide appropriate personal protective equipment, ensure the safe use of forklifts, and provide hazard communication training.

The other-than-serious violation is the company's failure to maintain required record keeping by not completing OSHA Form 301, the Injury and Illness Incident Report.

AL Solutions, which operates plants in New Cumberland and Washington, Mo., manufactures titanium and zirconium alloy compacts used in the aluminum manufacturing industry.

The violations place this company in OSHA's Severe Violators Enforcement Program.

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