An investigation into a deadly explosion has resulted in 54 OSHA citations and fines of more than $1.2 million.
Black Mag Industries, a subsidiary of MDM Muzzleloaders, has 15 days to consider whether to appeal the citations and fines, in connection with the May 14, 2010, explosions and fire at its Colebrook NH, plant.
The explosions killed two workers and blew out a large section of the facility that manufactured a gun powder substitute that is less explosive than ordinary gun powder.
The explosions caused a fire that burned for hours. Firefighters had difficulty controlling the blaze for the first 90 minutes because ammunition kept going off.
Residents reported hearing the explosions from miles away.
Only three workers were in the plant at the time. One was able to escape without injuries.
The two workers who were killed had to hand feed powder into equipment.
OSHA says the employer chose not to:
- implement remote starting procedures
- isolate operating stations
- establish safe distancing
- erect barriers or shielding, and
- provide PPE (such as fire resistant clothing, face shields and gloves) and other safety measures to its employees.
OSHA cited the company with four egregious willful, 12 willful, 36 serious and two other-than-serious violations with total penalties of $1,232,500.
The four egregious willful citations were for the failure to train each of the four workers involved in the manufacture of the gun powder substitute. (A fourth employee left his job nine days before the explosion.)
Willful citations are considered egregious when more than one worker is exposed to a single hazard.
The willful and egregious willful violations made up the largest part of the fines: $1.06 million.