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