Magazine article Occupational Hazards

S.C. OSHA Fines Fire Department, Furniture Store over Fatal Fire

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

S.C. OSHA Fines Fire Department, Furniture Store over Fatal Fire

Article excerpt

State officials with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Office of Occupational Safety and Health (S.C. OSHA) are levying fines against the Charleston, S.C.-based Sofa Super Store and the City of Charleston Fire Department for violating firefighter safety procedures after a deadly June 13 fire engulfed the store and killed the department's nine firefighters.

According to an OSHA investigation report released on Sept. 20, the Charleston Fire Department was fined $9, 325 for four violations, one of which was a willful violation for having a flawed command system that didn't ensure the safety of all firefighters in an emergency situation. In addition, the agency cited the fire department for not requiring its firefighters to wear body protection as well as the proper respiratory equipment.

The store was also cited for padlocking the exit doors on the front and the rear of the establishment and for not having the doors located between two showrooms in proper working order. In addition, the store also did not have the an emergency action plan in place for its employees and was fined $32,775 as a result.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

According to the report, the nine firefighters became lost as they were battling their way through the blaze. …

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