Company Cited Following Fatal Explosion

Aug. 13, 2001
OSHA cited Temple-Inland Forest Products Inc., Mt. Jewett, Pa., following an explosion and subsequent fire that seriously burned 10 employees, three of whom died.

OSHA cited Temple-Inland Forest Products Inc., Mt. Jewett, Pa., for safety violations following an explosion and subsequent fire that seriously burned 10 employees, three of whom died.

The agency issued three willful violations, with a proposed penalty of $189,000 and 16 serious violations with a penalty of $59,400.

"The alleged willful violations address the company failure to prevent excessive accumulations of wood dust, failure to shut down a conveyor that carried sparks to other combustibles and unapproved electrical service in restricted areas," said John Stranahan, area director of the Erie OSHA office. "Wood dust is recognized as the single greatest hazard for fire and explosion in the particleboard manufacturing industry."

The alleged serious violations include various fire and explosion hazards, inhibited means of egress, unguarded machines, deficiencies in hot work permit program, electrical hazards and a fork truck not approved for locations with combustible dust or excessive accumulations of fine wood dust.

In addition to Temple-Inland Forest Products, two other companies were also cited during the fatality inspection:

McGill AirClean Co., Columbus, Ohio, for four alleged serious violations including, failure to develop a fire protection program; not inspecting hot work areas; performing hot work near combustibles; and not providing fire extinguishing equipment.

K.W.I. Building Co., Johnstown, Pa., for five alleged serious violations including, a lack of fire protection program; hot work inspections; hot work near combustibles; not providing a means to confine sparks; and not providing fire extinguishing equipment.

by Virginia Foran

About the Author

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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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