Personal InjuryWorkers CompensationWrongful DeathOSHA Cites and Fines West, Texas Plant for Safety Violations

October 18, 2013by Aaron Allison

Recently, federal safety inspectors cited the West, Texas company that operated the fertilizer plant where an explosion killed 15 people with 24 safety violations and a $118,300 fine.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said West Fertilizer Co. committed violations that included unsafe handling and storage of two fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate. The company was also cited for failure to have an emergency response plan, respiratory protection or appropriate fire extinguishers.

The Labor Department issued the citations, and California Senator Barbara Boxer disclosed them the next day due to most of the Labor Department being closed due to the government shutdown. The company has 15 days to pay the fine or file an administrative appeal with OSHA.

Boxer stated that despite the government shutdown, companies need to be aware of citations in order to help prevent incidents like the West, Texas tragedy.

“All of these things that they are cited for are pretty much standard operating procedure with how you deal with these chemicals,” Boxer told reporters.

The magnitude of the April blast at West Fertilizer shook the tiny town of West, Texas, registering as a small earthquake. Blast victims included 10 first responders and two others who volunteered, as well as workers within the plant.

Preventing Accidents and Making the Workplace Safer for Employees

The West, Texas plant explosion was a preventable catastrophe, and we commend Senator Boxer for taking the necessary precautions to ensure that it will not happen again.

Employers have an obligation to provide a safe environment for their employees. When they fail to do so, they are putting lives at risk, and should be held liable for their negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured due to an employer’s negligence, you may be entitled to workers’ compensationContact our Austin workers’ compensation attorney today at (512) 474-8346 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Aaron Allison

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Aaron Allison

Aaron Allison, a second-generation personal injury lawyer from Austin, follows in the footsteps of his father, who founded their firm in 1978. Admitted to practice by the Texas Supreme Court, the Federal Court for the Western District of Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, Aaron brings extensive legal expertise to his clients.

Specializing in personal injury cases, Aaron offers a distinct advantage for Texas workers injured on the job. With Texas workers' compensation laws leading many attorneys to avoid these cases, Aaron is one of only 40 lawyers among 95,000 in Texas who represent injured workers in straight workers' compensation cases. His firm continues to provide dedicated support for those suffering catastrophic work injuries, maintaining a proud tradition of advocacy spanning decades.