Thursday, October 10, 2013

Texas: Fertilizer Plant in Deadly Blast is Fined

Article #2

The Associated Press. (10 October 2013) Texas: Fertilizer Plant in Deadly Blast is Fined. The New York Times.

1. Category of problem: Health/Safety; Environment
2. Level of problem: State

3.The article concerns: The fatal fertilizer plant explosion that occurred in West, Texas last April. Fining is now taking place for the flaws that the company possessed.

4. Why is this important to families/individuals OR how does it affect individuals/families?
a.  Many lives were lost in the fertilizer explosion that occurred in West, Texas. Families may feel somewhat justified knowing the the company is suffering from the fatal flaws that they caused to ones family.

5. What are your views on the issue/policy?
 a.  I think that it is about time this company is facing some repercussions for their ignorance and lack of safety precautions. The company did not even have a proper escape route for their employees that are dealing with toxic chemicals! Shouldn't some kind of policy or procedure be written, and probably displayed to notify employees of how to flee in case they need to save their own lives.  I know that in the retail store that I work in, posters are displayed in numerous places to notify employees of fire escape routes. Also, we would get in trouble if an employee does not know how to use a fire extinguisher, just in case an accident came about. Therefore we ensure to train employees of these simple tasks in order to prevent future accidents. These are the proper precautions that need to be taken in a place of business. Not only were employees unprepared for hazardous situations, but they were also working in unfit conditions.  The article states that the company failed to properly store two types of unsafe fertilizers that investigators stated many have contributed to the eruption. It also pointed out that there were "over two dozen serious safety violations". This is outstanding. A couple violations would be outrageous, but two dozen? It makes you wonder if this company has to pass an audit, or some kind of review to ensure they are meeting the proper guidelines. They obviously would have failed such a test if the company had been challenged. The article finally puts the cherry on top of this crazy story. It states the fact that The Occupational Health and Safety Administration had not paid the company a visit since 1982. No wonder the place was not kept up to par. If your mom didn't tell you to clean your room and do the dishes, would you? This shows that both the company and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration need to force stricter policies. They need to ensure that every aspect of the company is being inspected and that every company is up for an inspection. With proper enforcement of these policies and procedures of health and safety, incidents such as the tragic West explosion could be prevented.

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