CLINTON, Iowa- Two companies will pay more than $60,000 dollars combined for the deadly explosion in Clinton that killed a firefighter.
Local Four news takes a closer look at the reasons for their fines. OSHA levied the biggest fine against Archer Daniels Midland of more than $55,000 dollars. A silo at its plant in Clinton caught fire and exploded in January. Firefighter Eric Hosette died. His colleague Adam Cain was injured.
The Iowa Osha report, on June 4th of 2019, cited the Archer Daniels Midland plant in Clinton for five “serious” violations.
The first alleges the employer did not, “furnish employment and a place of employment which was free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” It adds that the unclear protocol of the plant’s incident management system resulted in incomplete lines of communication between employer and responders.
Also, firefighters were not given adequate information to fight the fire. According to the report, “pertinent information relating to the type-amount and condition of the grain contained in the silo #2 was not shared with the incoming emergency responders.” That grain could’ve been what ignited the fire. Another citation says, ” the employer did not take steps to investigate or eliminate a potential fire hazard,” adding that debris discovered had become hot and black in color.
Other citations include the lack of proper protection of an employee responding to a fire emergency and the lack of training for the use of fire hoses. All that adding up to over $55,000 dollars worth of violations.
The grain found at the site were remains from removed bridged material from silo #2. ADM contracted Bill Whitters construction for that removal.The OSHA report states that the construction company is being fined because its employees, “took steps to fight a fire in silo #2 rather than evacuate to the designated muster point.”Their penalty coming in at over $7,000 dollars.
Local 4 News is waiting to hear back from ADM and Bill Whitters construction for comment on their fines.The fire department declined comment. The Clinton City Administrator, Matt Brooke, says city officials are reviewing the information in the OSHA report with legal counsel