The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $166,950 in penalties against M&B Metal Products Company and its subcontractor, Oak Mountain Construction Company. An OSHA inspection conducted after a roof collapse at the M&B Metal Products manufacturing plant in Leeds, Ala., revealed 46 alleged safety and health violations.

M&B Metal Products Company is being assessed one willful violation with a $44,000 fine for allowing explosive paper dust to accumulate on machinery and the shop floor. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The company is being fined $117,950 for 42 serious violations related to employees' exposure to struck-by, fall, electrical and noise hazards. In addition, it is being cited for one other-than-serious violation.

Oak Mountain Construction Company received two serious safety violations with $5,000 in penalties for exposing employees to fall hazards and not conducting jobsite inspections to identify fall and roof collapse hazards. Oak Mountain was performing repairs on the roof support system when it collapsed in May.

"Management disregarded employees' safety and health by requiring them to work in a structurally deficient building and knowingly exposing them to dangerous accumulations of explosive dust," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham.

The companies have 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.