Madison County special effects business cited for 15 safety violations, penalized with $73,000 in fines

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations to Ultratec Special Effects, Inc. after two explosions at the facility on October, 1, 2015.

OSHA found four repeated, six serious and five other-than-serious safety violations.

The repeated citations relate to the employer not:

  • Documenting that safety equipment complies with generally accepted engineering practices for the manufacture and storage of fireworks.
  • Updating the process hazard analysis at least every five years.
  • Developing and implementing written operating procedures for all pyrotechnic products.
  • Implementing procedures to manage changes to the production process.

Ultratec was sited for the same violations in 2015.

The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to:

  • Compile process safety information for the building relief system.
  • Develop, document and utilize specific procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.
  • Update process safety information to address equipment changes.
  • Conduct a pre-start safety review after significant modifications were made to production buildings.

Other violations include the employer not preparing an incident report at the conclusion of an investigation; ensuring containers of hazardous chemicals were properly labeled and failing to provide safety data sheets for all chemicals used in the process.

OSHA has proposed Ultratec pay $72,688 in penalties.

The company employs more than 40 workers in Alabama. Ultratec has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The full list of citations can be found on OSHA's website.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Birmingham Area Office at 205-731-1534.