OSHA cites Mississippi Phosphates in Pascagoula - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

OSHA cites Mississippi Phosphates in Pascagoula

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PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Mississippi Phosphates Corporation has been cited for 40 safety and health violations after two fatal accidents at its Pascagoula fertilizer facility on May 21 and June 1. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a news release Monday that it has proposed penalties of $165,900. The company has 15 days to appeal.

On May 22, an operator died after being struck by metal debris when a turbine housing ruptured. On June 1, another worker was killed in a similar incident.

"Everyone at Mississippi Phosphates remains deeply saddened by the accidents at our Pascagoula facility earlier this year," said Richard Johnson, vice president of operations at MPC. "The Company is undertaking a comprehensive review of OSHA's report and will expeditiously address OSHA's recommendations for improving the safety of our workplace. MPC remains committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees."

OSHA cited the company for three serious safety violations related to the fatalities, including exposing workers to "struck-by" hazards by not protecting them against over pressurization. Other safety violations involved failing to test and inspect pressure relief devices throughout the facility and other issues.

WLOX News reached out to the family of Jeff Simpson, after news of the violations was announced Monday by OSHA.

John R. Simpson and his family said, "We feel that our son showed up at work on May 21 expecting to return home safely. Maybe after the deaths of Jeff and Jeremy Moore and the serious injuries to Jeff Beck and Donnie Scudder, Mississippi Phosphates will make the recommended improvements by OHSA to create a safer work environment for their fellow workers and friends."

Officials with Mississippi Phosphates said the company has completed the vast majority of the items noted during the inspection and has a plan to complete them all.

"We are committed to continuously improving our safety and health programs to protect our employees and the surrounding community," Johnson said.

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