You would think that a manufacturer of commercial explosives would be extra careful about their culture of safety.
You'd be wrong.
Austin Powder Company, a maker of explosives for mining and construction companies, was cited recently by a federal safety agency for a variety of different violations. In total, they were charged with 51 health and safety infringements, amounting to $280,000. The inspection began through a program which targets workplaces that have high average incident and illness rates. Federal safety inspectors were vocal about the negligence the company engaged in.
"By disregarding [our agency's] common-sense standards, this employer endangered the facility's workers," said Deborah Zubaty, an area director for the agency, adding that the agency "is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially those exposed to hazardous materials, and educating employers about safety and health regulations."
This is not the plant's first difficulties; in 2009, an explosion at the plant killed one worker and left three injured.
So what is a company to do to ensure safety in the workplace? It's always an ongoing fight, but a job hazard analysis is a great place to start. It can help prevent incidents and ensure that your workers are always feeling safe and ready for action.