OSHA has cited Adair Grain Inc. dba West Fertilizer Co. with 24 serious safety violations at its West facility for exposing workers to fire/explosion hazards of ammonium nitrate and liquid burns and inhalation hazards from anhydrous ammonia storage and servicing. Proposed penalties total $118,300. For additional information about the violations and penalties, read the citations (*PDF).
"The tragic loss of 15 lives, including 13 first responders underscores the need for employers that store and handle hazardous substances like ammonium nitrate to ensure the safety of those materials – not just for workers at the facility, but for the lives and safety of emergency responders and entire communities," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Employers are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their facilities and working with the surrounding community to ensure the safety of first responders."
Following the tragic events in West, Texas, President Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to work with stakeholders to improve chemical safety and security through agency programs, private sector initiatives, federal guidance, standards and regulations. To learn more, read the executive order.