Thursday, September 20, 2007

Breaking: OSHA Notes "Serious," "Willful" Fire Violations

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 2:54 PM

The state's Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation cited the City of Charleston's Fire Department and the Sofa Super Store for serious and willful violations stemming from the June 18 Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine firefighters.

The more than $9,000 in citations for the department included:

• Failure to inform fire brigade members about special hazards regarding flammable liquids and other chemicals.

• Body protection wasn't required to be worn by nine firemen in interior structural fire fighting at the super store.

• Self-contained breathing apparatus was not worn at all times by four firemen exposed to smoke and toxic substances while fighting the fire.

• "Employer knew or should have known that the command system does not provide for the overall safety of emergency personnel and their activities."

The Sofa Store was citied for three fire doors that were not operating and for not implementing an emergency action plan for employees. The store also padlocked exit doors or locked them with sliding bars that make it more difficult for a quick emergency exit. Fees for the store were nearly $34,000.

The mayor will be addressing the citations at a 5 p.m. news conference at City Hall.

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Greg Hambrick
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