“Together with our legal counsel, we have elected to move forward contesting some citations issued by OSHA,” Didion Milling said on Dec. 11. “We are working collaboratively with OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission through the appeal process, which can take up to a year. We are continuing to work with industry experts and other agencies to determine the cause of the incident”
OSHA’s proposed fine totals $1,837,861. The explosion resulted in the death of 5 workers and injured 12 others.
As part of its findings, OSHA determined that the explosion likely resulted from Didion’s failures to correct the leakage and accumulation of highly combustible grain dust throughout the facility and to properly maintain equipment to control ignition sources. OSHA cited Didion with 14 willful citations, including 8 willful per-instance egregious citations. Didion also was cited with 5 serious citations, most involving fire and explosion hazards. The company has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
In a previous statement Didion Milling disagreed with the severity of the fines. Despite the citations and fine Didion remains committed to its pledge to build a “state-of-the-art, best in class facility.”
“The new mill will utilize the latest technology and industry best practices, creating one of the most efficient, effective and safe operational systems available,” said Aisha Bachlani, a company spokesperson, adding that Didion is continuing to work with industry experts and other agencies to determine the cause of the incident.