Federal authorities cited a Jasper, Alabama, car dealership for willful and serious workplace safety violations after a flash fire broke out in its facility in June 2017, killing three employees and leaving a fourth with critical burn injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that employees of Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership were using a flammable brake wash to scrub the floor of the service pit. A flame or other heat source met the floor, erupting in a massive flash fire that instantly consumed the service facility.
The flash fire fatally burned three workers, Jake Jennings, Javan Robinson and Zack Davis. Jonah Johnson suffered severe burn injuries and continues to undergo treatment at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Burn Center. A fifth worker was treated for smoke inhalation at Walker Baptist Medical Center and released.
Mr. Jennings and Mr. Davis died on June 13, the day of the accident. Mr. Johnson died at UAB on June 22.
OSHA investigated Carl Cannon in response to the deadly accident and cited the company for willful and two serious safety citations for failing to implement all elements of a chemical hazard communication program, improper storage of flammable liquids, and allowing unapproved electrical receptacles and equipment to be used in a hazardous area. Proposed penalties total $152,099
“Failure to effectively implement a hazard communication program has tragically resulted in the loss of lives and serious injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Ramona Morris in Birmingham. “Employers must ensure employees are trained and aware of the hazards associated with handling flammable chemicals.”