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OSHA finds 24 safety violations at West Fertilizer

11 October 2013

Senator Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, said she had been briefed on the outcome of an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) investigation into the blast and that fines of $118,300 would be levied against West Fertilizer of West, Texas.

The aftermath of the explosion at West - Photo: CSB
The aftermath of the explosion at West - Photo: CSB

A fire and resulting ammonium nitrate explosion at the company’s premises in West on April 17 killed 15 people, injured more than 160, and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes, businesses and public buildings in the community north of Waco.

Violations by West Fertilizer cited by OSHA ranged from unsafe handling and storage of anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate, to failure to have appropriate fire extinguishers on hand.

On October 10, around 90% of employees at OSHA, the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, were inactive because of the US government shutdown.

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