Cal/OSHA cites cannabis company for safety violations following explosion

Company cited over $50,000 in proposed penalties for 10 violations

Posted January 9, 2019

Cal/OSHA has cited a manufacturer of cannabis products for multiple serious safety violations following an explosion that seriously injured a worker.

An employee was working alone inside a 128-square-foot portable storage container, using propane to extract oil from cannabis leaves. The propane ignited and exploded, badly burning the worker, who was subsequently hospitalized for several days.

During the investigation, Cal/OSHA learned the employer did not test the atmosphere inside the storage container for flammable gases or vapors before allowing equipment to be operated. The equipment created a spark that ignited the propane gas where the employee was working.

Cal/OSHA cited the company $50,470 in proposed penalties for 10 violations. The citations include three regulatory, four general, and three serious accident-related violations. The serious accident-related violations were cited for the employer’s failure to:

  • Protect workers around flammable vapors.
  • Identify hazards and provide personal protective equipment.
  • Maintain equipment in a safe operating condition.

The other citations were issued for violations related to inadequate training and failing to establish an emergency action plan and a hazard communication program. The company also failed to report a serious workplace injury to Cal/OSHA.


OSHA Compliance for California ManualJ. J. Keller's OSHA Compliance for California Manual provides guidance to help comply with Cal/OSHA's most scrutinized regulations.

 

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