Fire Officials Lack Authority to Inspect Manufacturing Plants in Connecticut

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The Board of Fire Commissioners wants manufacturing plant, Rex Forge, to be subjected to inspections after they receive OSHA violations.  However, according to state law, fire officials are not authorized to do so.

The manufacturing plant was hit by $110k in fines for safety violations.  Additionally, the plant experienced a fire when grease ignited on a hot machine.  

This plant employs 200 workers and manufactures parts for trucking, electrical transmission, and scaffolding for the mining industry.

Ann Dandrow, Board of Fire Commissioners vice chairwoman said she's concerned about safety for employees at the plant.  At a board meeting, she asked if fire officials could occasionally inspect the plant.

"My concern was for the safety of the employees, and, if there's a fire, for the safety of the firefighters.  I was concerned about the number of violations and the repeated violations.  Who checks to see if the violations have been corrected?" said Dandrow.

The fire department needs specialized training to inspect Rex Forge.  They do not have the proper training to work with manufacturing plants.  

"We're looking at who has responsibility for what.  What we're attempting to do is gather information on jurisdiction, who's responsible for what," said Board Chairman Michael Bunko.