Federal agencies Agriculture, forestry and fishing Workplace exposures

OSHA partners with industry groups to spread ammonium nitrate safety message

Washington – OSHA administrator David Michaels has written a letter to employers regarding legal requirements and best practice recommendations for the safe storage and handling of ammonium nitrate.

The Agricultural Retailers Association and the Fertilizer Institute will help OSHA distribute the letter to approximately 7,000 agricultural retailers, distributors, producers and other facilities in the fertilizer industry, the agency said in a Feb. 10 press release.

The letter describes the devastation that ammonium nitrate can cause when not properly stored or handled – for example, the fertilizer plant fire and explosion in West, TX, that killed 15 people in April 2013.

In the letter, Michaels encourages employers who handle ammonium nitrate to use available resources to prevent future incidents.