Skip to main content

OSHA Inspector's eye 45-minute time lag in Ala. Ammonia Leak

OSHA Inspector's eye 45-minute time lag in Ala. Ammonia Leak
The ammonia leak sent 130 people who were living in the vicinity to hospitals. Unfortunately, they were not warned for at least 45 minutes after it was detected. Thus, this very delay has increased the risk to their safety. In turn, these safety violations have alerted the OSHA investigators.

Federal regulators have already started investigating the devastating effects of this time lag. However, the emergency and company officials said that they acted as quickly as they could.

Present below are a list of statements given by the local residents. These statements just highlight the very fact that the response action was just not initiated fast enough:

  • Mr. Charles Adams said that,“The alarms finally went off, but there were a lot of people who were hurt before they did.”
  • Mr. John Ponder commented that,“There should have been an alarm that went off two minutes after that leak happened. Two minutes is too long.”
This leak has come under OSHA's radar. For instance, Mr. Kurt Petermeyer, the director of OSHA said that there was in fact a substantial period between the leak detection and the warnings. He went on to say that,“It’s definitely something we’ll look at.”

Finally, the state commissioner of labor, Jim Bennett, announced that inspectors were sent to look at the pressure vessels. But overall, he said that the company did not have a record of safety violations.