OSHA Issues Notices After Army Facility's Explosion

The explosion and fire occurred March 28 in the pyrotechnic building of the Crane Army Ammunition Activity, in Crane, Ind.

OSHA announced it has issued 36 notices of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions to the Crane Army Ammunition Activity after an explosion and fire injured workers there March 28. The incident in the pyrotechnic building sent five workers to the hospital, where they were treated and released, according to the agency’s news release.

"The Crane Army Ammunition Activity failed to ensure the facility was in compliance with established safety and health procedures," said Vanessa Martin, director of OSHA's Indianapolis Area Office. "All employers are responsible for recognizing hazards in their facilities and addressing them by following OSHA standards. Thankfully, the hospitalized workers survived this unacceptable lapse in workplace safety."

The explosion and fire occurred in two dust collectors in the building as workers were cleaning the production area. This facility receives, stores, ships, renovates, demilitarizes, and produces conventional ammunition, missiles, and related components. "Multiple violations of OSHA's Process Safety Management standards for facilities that use highly hazardous materials and chemicals were found at the facility," according to OSHA.

OSHA issued 34 serious safety violations – 25 involved process safety lapses – meaning there was a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity employs 750 personnel and is located at Naval Support Activity in Crane, Ind. The facility has 15 business days from receipt of the notices to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or appeal the notices.

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