Ferrellgas challenges citations from 2013 Blue Rhino plant incident

March 26, 2014 By    

Ferrellgas says it is contesting citations totaling $73,000 levied by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) following a 2013 explosion at the company’s Blue Rhino propane tank production facility in Tavares, Fla.

The 33-page report from the OSHA lists 20 “serious” violations and six “other-than-serious” violations at the plant following the July 29 incident, which injured eight workers and destroyed 53,000 propane cylinders.

“We are contesting all of the allegations and the fines,” Ferrellgas spokesman Scott Brockelmeyer wrote in an email.

According to OSHA, violations covered safety and training as well as operating procedures. In some instances, employees were exposed to fire and explosion hazards during cylinder refurbishing and filling operations, the January report states.

State fire investigators believe a sparking forklift ignited a cloud of propane in a storage yard at the plant, severely burning five employees, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The OSHA report was also critical of procedures related to the use of forklifts at the plant.

A message seeking details on the appeals process was left for OSHA.

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