West Fertilizer Co. hit with $118,000 OSHA fine for April blast
West, TX – The parent company of a fertilizer storage facility has been issued $118,300 in proposed OSHA penalties for violations in connection with an April explosion that killed 15 people in West, TX.
Adair Grain Inc., doing business as West Fertilizer Co., was issued 24 serious safety violations for allegedly exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards of ammonium nitrate, as well as chemical burns and inhalation hazards from anhydrous ammonia storage and servicing. OSHA could not announce the information on the violations because of the federal government shutdown.
The news was relayed by the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Boxer has been looking for answers on the cause of the blast and the adequacy of chemical storage regulations.
Most of those killed in the blast were first responders arriving at the facility to fight the fire caused by the explosion. More than 160 people – including facility employees and nearby residents – were injured. A Chemical Safety Board investigation into the explosion has similarly slowed down because of the shutdown.