OSHA's investigation revealed that the company allegedly failed to check the flammability of incoming waste oil products and to properly recycle the material. Reportedly, equipment used for these operations had been inoperable for at least 2 years, according to OSHA.
An explosion, which occurred while waste oil was being transferred from a storage tank to a tanker truck, killed one employee.
"This needless tragedy points to the dangers of employers becoming complacent when handling hazardous waste materials," said Gei-Thae Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director. "The accident could have been prevented if the company had complied with OSHA and state regulations."
OSHA issued 22 serious citations against the company, including allegedly failing to periodically inspect storage vessels; defective or inadequate storage tank equipment; lack of emergency training and equipment; several electrical violations; and improperly stored hazardous chemicals.