Federal investigators found 17 serious safety violations at Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen following a generator explosion in April, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Friday.
OSHA has proposed fining Georgia Power $119,000 for the violations.
“Fortunately, no one was injured or killed as a result of this explosion,” said Christi Griffin, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office. “Our inspection found several serious safety hazards that the company must address immediately to protect its workers. It is a fundamental responsibility of employers to ensure a safe workplace.”
The violations included a failure to comply with “tagout” procedures: steps taken to control hazardous energy sources.
Georgia Power officials were not immediately available for comment.
The blast happened late as workers were shutting down Unit 2 for planned maintenance. It occurred in the “power house, ” a building that holds the generators and turbines used to produce electricity, Georgia Power said at the time. The area where the coal is contained was not affected, he said.
Three people were treated for minor injuries. OSHA as well as other federal and state environmental authorities went to the site, in Bartow County near Cartersville, that evening.
Georgia Power conducted an internal investigation and said that worker errors, not equipment failure, caused the explosion. The utility determined workers did not comply with procedures and did not communicate properly, a company spokesman said in May.