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Mayfield candle manufacturer charged with OSHA violations after December tornado outbreak

An aerial shot of the collapsed Mayfield Consumer Products factory.
John Hewlett
An aerial shot of the collapsed Mayfield Consumer Products factory.

Documents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicate that Mayfield Consumer Products violated standards impacting the events at the Graves County candle factory the night of the December tornado outbreak.

Investigation into safety practices at the manufacturer began in the immediate wake of the disaster, during which the MCP facility collapsed under the force of an EF-4 tornado, trapping around 100 people inside and killing nine.

The documents show seven violations currently across three categories: one under “maintenance, safeguards, and operational features for exit routes,” two under “emergency action plans” and four in “bloodborne pathogens.”

The accident investigation summary states “six employees were killed due to multiple blunt force trau ma [sic] injuries after manufacturing building collapses due to tornado.”

Since the case is open, information around the violations may be changed, removed or added. MCP is contesting all seven of the violations, which carry a total of $40,000 in fines.

Since the storms, the candle factory has announced that it will be closing and permanently laying off half its employees. The organization is also planning to expand in Hickory in Graves County over the next five years to consolidate its operations in the area.

Lily Burris is a tornado recovery reporter for WKMS, Murray State's NPR Station. Her nine month reporting project is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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