Two workers were killed when an explosion rocked an animal feed processing plant in Omaha, Nebraska.
The fatal industrial accident occurred at about 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 20, 2014, at the International Nutrition plant in Omaha, Nebraska. The explosion cut of power to the building and caused a fire. The resulting structural damage caused the second and third floors of the building to collapse.
Many workers left the building when the power went out. Rescue crews spent the day searching for survivors. Their search was hampered by cold temperatures, strong winds and structural damage to the three story building. By the evening, all 38 workers were accounted for. Two were pronounced dead. Ten were taken to the hospital; four with critical injuries. Seven had minor injuries that did not require treatment. The rest were uninjured.
The deceased workers were identified as 53-year-old Keith Everett and 47-year-old David Ball. Both men were working on the second floor of the building. Two of the surviving workers suffered severe burns.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) authorities are investigating the cause of the blast. According to an International Nutrition spokesperson, the plant manufactured products that are added to animal feed to improve nutrition, and there were no dangerous chemicals at the plant. The investigation could take weeks as the structure must be secured before the investigation can continue.
International Nutrition has been cited for workplace safety violations twelve times since 1974, including the 2002 death of an employee who fell into a mixing tank. In 2012, OSHA found six serious safety violations involving medical services and material handling.
Feed Mill Safety in Pennsylvania
Although this accident occurred in Omaha, we added it to our news feed because this type of accident can happen in Pennsylvania. There are feed mills throughout rural Pennsylvania. Grain-handling is considered a very dangerous occupation because grain dust is extremely combustible. Employers must pay strict attention to worker safety. If you think your workplace is following safety guidelines, it’s time to take action. Contact OSHA and an experienced attorney for further advice.