Monday, November 1, 2010

Powder Explosion Aftermath

If you remember back in may the explosion at Black Mag powder manufacturer, the official OSHA ruling has come down.

Gunpowder manufacturer fined more than $1.2 million after explosion kills two workers

OSHA issued 54 citations* with penalties totaling $1,232,500 to gun powder substitute manufacturer Black Mag LLC following a deadly May explosion that took the lives of two workers at the company's Colebrook, N.H., worksite.

The workers, who had been on the job for only a month, were being required to hand feed explosive powder into operating equipment because the employer failed to implement essential protective controls. The multiple explosions that occurred when the powder detonated killed both men and blew out the walls and roof of the worksite. Four months earlier another worker had suffered serious burns from a flash fire at the facility.

"Even with a prior incident in which a worker was seriously injured, and multiple warnings from its business partners and a former employee, this employer still decided against implementing safety measures," said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels. "Unfortunately, we see this kind of disregard time and time again across industry. All employers must plan for and prevent workplace injuries so these types of avoidable tragedies don't happen, and workers can return home safely at the end of the day."

OSHA inspectors found that the employer had shown willful indifference to protecting the safety and lives of his workers by failing to train those involved in the manufacture of the gun powder substitute, failing to locate operators at safe locations while equipment was operating and failing to separate workstations by distance or barriers. The employer also failed to provide fire resistant clothing, face shields and gloves; to safely store gun powder; and to identify explosion hazards in the company's operating procedures. See the news release for more examples of Black Mag's numerous safety and health violations.

So, OSHA found willful indifference in the violations and say that is common across industry. Well, they will have to pay for it now but that won't do anything to bring the dead workers back. I would not be surprised if they end up out of business after OSHA and the victims families get done with them.

1 comment:

  1. After reading what those workers didn't have, I'm wondering if any of them spoke english. I don't think even the drunkest redneck would work in that factory under those conditions.

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