Fertilizer Manufacturer Cited Following Two Employee Fatalities

Now facing $165,900 in fines, Mississippi Phosphates was investigated after two employees died in similar incidents.

A Mississippi company has been cited for 40 alleged violations last week in connection with two employee fatalities, with $165,900 in proposed penalties.

The two workers died in separate incidents at Mississippi Phosphates in May and June of this year. Both suffered injuries when they were struck by flying metal debris from ruptured turbine housing.

According to OSHA, Mississippi Phosphates produces and markets diammonium phosphate, a fertilizer.

OSHA cited the company for 40 safety violations, three of which were serious violations related to the fatalities, "including exposing workers to 'struck-by' hazards by not protecting them against overpressurization, and failing to maintain and service equipment in accordance with the company's maintenance program to prevent overpressurization," according to a statement on the OSHA website.

Mississippi Phosphates also received 23 other serious violations ranging from failing to test pressure relief devices to not providing handrails or covering holes in the floors. "Employers need to be proactive to ensure that all operating equipment is properly maintained and functional," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson Area Office. "Had this employer done so, these tragic events could have been prevented."

A complete list of the alleged violations can be found on the OSHA website.

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