Ultratec Special Effects Inc. is facing $72,688 in fines for 15 safety violations at its Owens Cross Roads, Alabama, pyrotechnic facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigators issued citations for four repeated, six serious and five other-than-serious safety violations.

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OSHA initiated an investigation after learning of two explosions at the pyrotechnic facility on Oct.1.

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.
• OSHA cited the company for the same violations in 2015 at this location.

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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 ended up properly labeled and failing to provide safety data sheets for all chemicals used in the process.

“Ultratec continues to endanger its employees, as it has not addressed previously identified safety hazards and deficiencies with its process safety management system,” said Ramona Morris, OSHA’s area director in Birmingham. “Fortunately, no one was injured in these incidents, but management must take immediate action to address safety hazards before an employee is seriously injured or killed.”

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