Company Agrees To Pay Fine Following Fatal Explosion

July 14, 2000
The Electronic Recovery Specialist Inc. has agreed to pay\r\n$99,000 in penalties issued by OSHA and make significant safety and\r\nhealth improvements at its facility in Niles, Ill.

After an explosion claimed the life of one worker and injured five others, The Electronic Recovery Specialist Inc. has agreed to pay $99,000 in penalties issued by OSHA and make significant safety and health improvements at its facility in Niles, Ill.

Under the terms of the settlement, the plant has permanently ceased all processes involving projectile decoring, the disassembly of explosive projectiles.

The explosion occurred on Jan. 12, 2000, when workers were engaged in a decoring operation.

Diane M. Turek, area director of OSHA''s Chicago North Area Office, said, "We are pleased that the company has agreed to resolve this matter as quickly as possible and ensure maximum protection for its employees."

The investigation found numerous violations of OSHA''s Process Safety Management Standard.

The company failed to keep hazardous materials from open flames and spark-producing equipment, failed to establish written procedures, failed to train employees in safe operating procedures, failed to collect and store an explosive powder mixture, and failed to prevent ignition of the powder.

The company also failed to develop written process safety information and perform a hazard evaluation of the disassembly of the projectiles.

Other violations involved explosives which were stored outside of magazines.

The Electronic Recovery Specialist Inc. has already begun safety improvements, including contracting with a consultation service to strengthen their safety and health program beyond OSHA requirements.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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