Cannabis product manufacturer Future2 Health Services is facing $50,470 in fines after an explosion seriously injured an employee.
On June 19, 2018, a worker was using propane to extract oil from cannabis leaves inside a 128 sq. ft. storage container. The propane ignited and exploded, which left the worker with serious burns that required an extended hospital stay.
“The process of using a highly flammable gas to extract oil from cannabis leaves is dangerous,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum in a statement.“To prevent injuries and mitigate risk, employers in the cannabis industry must establish and implement an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program, provide effective training to their employees and comply with safety and health standards.”
A subsequent Cal/OSHA investigation revealed that the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based 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 Future2 Health Services for a total of 10 violations, including three regulatory, four general and three serious. 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; and
- Maintain equipment in a safe operating condition.
The other citations were issued for violations related to inadequate training, failing to establish an emergency action plan and a hazard communication program, according to the agency.
Future2 Labs Health Services also failed to report a serious workplace injury to Cal/OSHA.