OSHA fines Austin Powder Company for 51 health and safety violations

The inability to pass a safety inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can be a devastating blow to any company or institution’s bottom line, as the explosives manufacturer Austin Powder Company, based in McArthur, Ohio, learned this week. OSHA cited the factory for 51 health and safety violations, and levied fines totaling $258,000.

Austin Powder Company produces commercial explosives for the construction and mining industries. They were subject to an inspection in December 2012 that was part of OSHA’s Site Specific Targeting Plan, a program that targets companies with abnormally high incidence of illnesses and injuries in the workplace.

Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director for its Columbus office, said in a news release that the company repeatedly undermined the agency’s safety regulations. “By disregarding OSHA’s common-sense standards, this employer endangered the facility’s workers,” said Zubaty. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially those exposed to hazardous materials, and educating employers about safety and health regulations.”

Among the violations incurred by Austin Powder Company are a failure to correct deficiencies found in compliance audits and non-compliance with generally accepted good engineering practices for inspection and testing procedures.

The company was inspected in 2009 after an explosion that left one worker dead and injured two others, after which OSHA issued five safety violations. A follow-up inspection in 2010 returned no violations.

One of the best things you can do to protect your workers from injury and your company from sustaining major financial losses from fines is to invest in mobile inspection software. This can serve as a tool to assist you in preventing workplace injury and illness, without slowing down your workflow or interfering in company operations.