West Fertilizer Plant Cited For Safety Lapses

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the West Fertilizer Company with 24 serious safety violations six months after a horrific explosion that killed 15 people and destroyed much of the small city of West.

OSHA has proposed a fine of $118,300 against the company.

Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California, says she announced the news because OSHA could not due to the partial government shutdown.

Investigators say they still can't determine what sparked a fire at the plant that ultimately led to the massive explosion of the ammonium nitrate that was stored there.

Senator Boxer says she was shocked after hearing the list of violations.

OSHA cited West Fertilizer Company for exposing workers to fire/explosion hazards of ammonium nitrate and chemical burns and inhalation hazards from anhydrous ammonia storage and servicing.

Among the other safety violations cited by OSHA:

  • unsafe handling and storage of ammonium nitrate & anhydrous ammonia
  • failing to have an emergency response plan
  • failing to have a respiratory protection program
  • failing to have appropriate fire extinguishers
  • failing to have a hazard communication program
  • forklift operators were not trained or certified

CBS 11′s Jack Fink called the owner of the now defunct company, Donald Adair, but he declined comment.


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