Resulted in two fatalities, nine injuries
The structural collapse of International Nutrition Inc.’s Omaha-facility, was caused by overloading nine storage bins on the building’s roof level, an investigation by OSHA has found. The collapse at the livestock feed supplement manufacturer caused the death of two workers and injuries to nine others. The company manufactures a feed supplement using multiple dry ingredients, rice hulls, solulac and limestone – the ingredients that were stored in the nine bins on the roof of the structure. As a result of the incident, OSHA cited the company with one willful, one repeat and 11 additional safety violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with structural collapse.
The investigation determined a structural failure of the east side truss, after bins that it supported were loaded with an excess of limestone. The extra weight caused the bins to collapse three floors into the center of the facility in about 30 seconds. A 53-year-old worker, who had been with the company just over a year, was cleaning on the second floor and a 47-year-old worker, who had been employed at the facility for 10 years, was conducting maintenance when the bins collapsed. Both were fatally injured. Four workers were trapped in the rubble of the building after the collapse and were rescued by the Omaha Fire Department’s ladder truck rescue team. They and five other workers were transported to the hospital with injuries.
International Nutrition’s decision to overload these bins directly led to the deaths of these two workers and the injuries sustained by nine other employees,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Families lost loved ones because International Nutrition did not follow the basic safety procedures that would have prevented this senseless loss of life.”
OSHA has proposed penalties of $120,560 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after its investigation into the collapse.
The company’s failure to protect workers from hazards associated with overloading the bin structures on the roof and its subsequent collapse resulted in the issuance of one willful safety citation. A repeat violation was also issued for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with using compressed air at greater than the recommended 30 pounds per square inch. The company was previously cited for this violation in 2011.
A total of nine serious violations were also cited for combustible dust hazards including failure to provide proper dust ventilation and failure to follow respiratory protection standards. The company was also cited for failing to train workers on confined space requirements, hazard communication and proper operation of powered industrial vehicles. Other violations included lack of specific lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers operating dangerous machinery and failing to de-energize potential ignition sources when using compressed air for cleaning.
To view the current citations see: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/International_Nutrition_955579_Jul18_2014.pdf.