Region 2 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-143-11-22
Wed., Nov. 22, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $149,850 PENALTY AGAINST CF INDUSTRIES, INC., IN DONALDSONVILLE, LA, FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited CF Industries, Inc., of Donaldsonville, La., for safety and health violations totaling $149,850, announced the U.S. Department of Labor. The company has agreed not to contest the citations and to pay the penalties.
The OSHA investigation began May 25 when a fire and explosion occurred in the #3 Ammonia Unit. Three fatalities and eight injuries resulted from the accident.
CF Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of nitrogenous fertilizer employing 1,632 workers corporate-wide with 300 workers in Donaldsonville, was cited for 14 alleged safety and health violations . OSHA's inspection of the company resulted in 12 serious citations related to confined space entry, process safety management and personal protective equipment. The remaining two unclassified citations relate to process safety management.
The two unclassified citations were for not having inspection procedures that were specific to mole sieve vessels and for not ensuring that there were specific vessel repair procedures for the 109D-C mole sieve vessel. Additionally, the company failed to ensure that the 109D-C vessel was inspected according to recognized and generally acceptable engineering practices.
The 12 serious citations include the company failing to allow representatives from each involved contract company to participate on the investigation team and failing to resolve at least five Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) action items; failing to ensure that the incident commander assumed his/her duties for the first 30 minutes following the explosion, and failing to properly train employees serving as confined space attendants and supervisors. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
"The company has agreed to abate the cited violations as quickly as possible and to implement additional safety provisions as stipulated in the settlement agreement," according to John J. Deifer, area director in Baton Rouge.
CF Industries is a multi-employer work site. OSHA also cited Turner Industrial Services, Inc., of Baton Rouge, LA for four serious violations and one other-than-serious violation with penalties totaling $16,650; Cooperheat MQS, Inc. of Gonzales, LA, was cited for one serious violation with penalties totaling $6,300 and Catalyst Process Specialists, Inc., of Pasadena, TX was cited for one other-than serious violation with penalties totaling $350.
The companies have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Baton Rouge area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
# # #