The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute are reaching out to more than 7,000 agricultural retailers, distributers, producers and other facilities in the fertilizer industry to encourage safe storing and handling of ammonium nitrate.
This effort follows the April 2013 ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas that killed 15 including 12 emergency response personnel.
The owners of West Fertilizer were cited with 24 serious safety violations for exposing workers to fire/explosion hazards of ammonium nitrate and chemical burn and inhalation hazards from anhydrous ammonia storage.
The trade associations will distribute a letter from assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health Dr. David Michaels to fertilizer industry employers throughout the country. In the letter to the fertilizer industry, OSHA provides employers with legal requirements and best practice recommendations for safely storing and handling ammonium nitrate.