International Nutrition cited by OSHA after fatal collapse

Two workers killed in January incident in Omaha, Nebraska

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found that structural failure was the cause of a collapse at an animal feed mill in Omaha, Nebraska, in January. The collapse killed two workers and injured nine others.

OSHA has determined that nine storage bins on the building’s rooftop at International Nutrition Inc. were overloaded with limestone. The excess weight caused the bins to crash through three floors in less than a minute.

International Nutrition was issued one “willful” safety citation, referring to a violation committed with “knowing disregard” for the law or “plain indifference” to employee safety, and proposed penalties of $120,560, according to a report. In total, OSHA cited the company for 13 safety and health violations, including nine serious violations related to combustible dust hazards, such as failure to provide adequate dust ventilation and to protect workers from “potentially combustible dust build ups.”

“Families lost loved ones because International Nutrition did not follow the basic safety procedures that would have prevented this senseless loss of life,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, in a statement.

International Nutrition has been placed in an enforcement program for companies OSHA finds demonstrated indifference to work safety obligations.

“International Nutrition is fully committed to maintaining a safe working environment for its employees,” the company said in a statement. “We disagree strongly with OSHA’s conclusions.”