On November 17, 2017, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed more than $1.8 million in fines against Didion Milling. The proposed fines follow a May 31, 2017 explosion, which killed five workers and injured 12 others. A 21-year-old worker suffered a double leg amputation after being crushed by a railcar.
OSHA discovered that the explosion was likely the result of Didion’s failures to correct leakage and accumulation of highly combustible grain dust around the facility. It is also alleged that the company failed to properly maintain equipment to control ignition sources. Didion’s Cambria facility was cited with 14 willful and five serious citations. The company also been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Egregious willful citations were issued for violating OSHA’s Grain Handling standards. Willful citations were issued for failing to shut down ignition sources, failing to correct malfunctioning dust collection systems, and failing to have an emergency alarm system. Serious citations were issued due to the company’s alleged failure to address hazards associated with fires and explosions. The company has 15 days to comply, contest the findings or request an information conference with OSHA’s area director.
Additional details about the proposed fines can be found here.