US OSHA investigating fatal explosions at Mississippi Phosphates

04 June 2012 21:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said on Monday it has opened an investigation into the 1 June explosion at Mississippi Phosphates in Pascagoula that resulted in the death of one worker and injuries to two others.

"OSHA already had another investigation underway looking into an explosion at the same plant on 21 May that resulted in the death of a worker," said OSHA Southeast Regional Director Michael Wald.

The latest explosion occurred on 1 June at Mississippi Phosphates' 850,000 tons/year diammonium phosphate (DAP) granulation plant.

The 21 May explosion was reported to have occurred in the same area of the plant as the 1 June explosion.

Mississippi Phosphates, based in Madison, Mississippi, said that the company is cooperating with all government agencies and gathering information to pinpoint the cause of the latest event.

The DAP plant remained closed on Monday.

"From what I understand this is basically the same area where they had an explosion ten days ago," Jackson county sheriff Mike Byrd told news sources on Friday.

"Inspections vary in time, anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks, to a few months," said OSHA's Mike Wald.

"By statute, OSHA must conclude its inspection within 6 months after it begins," Wald said.

Wald added that an OSHA compliance officer will be looking at whether Mississippi Phosphates violated any OSHA standards.

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Monday it had not yet deployed personnel to investigate the 1 June accident.

By: Frank Zaworski
+1 713 525 2653

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