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West Fertilizer Co. Fined $118,300

Destiny Baker3 years ago

Though a criminal investigation is still underway, the Houston Chronicle reports that West Fertilizer Co. has been fined $118,300 for serious safety violations in connection to April’s explosion that killed 15.

West, Texas Plant Explosion

  • Around 8 a.m., April 17, 2013, a plant run by West Fertilizer Co. exploded, resulting in 15 deaths and 150 more injuries.
  • Among the victims of the blast were plant workers, firefighters, first responders and residents of West, Texas.
  • A 2.1 magnitude seismic tremor was recorded 80 miles away in Dallas, Texas.

Investigations into West, Texas Plant Explosion

  • Two separate investigations were being conducted into the West, Texas plant explosion- a criminal investigation and an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 
  • With their investigation complete, OSHA announced Thursday they were finding West Fertilizing Co. $118,300 for roughly two dozen different severe safety violations. West Fertilizing has 15 days to pay the fine.
  • OSHA is facing criticism of their own, however, as it has been determined that the agency had not inspected the facility since 1982 leading to speculation that the accident would have been prevented with more frequent inspections.
Violations Cited in OSHA’s West Fertilizer Investigation

As reported by the Houston Chronicle:

  • Unsafe storage of anhydrous ammonia and ammonia nitrate.
  • Inadequate labeling of storage tanks.
  • Failure to pressure test hoses.
  • Failure to have an emergency response plan.
  • Failure to provide respiratory protection.
  • Failure to provide appropriate estinguishers.
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