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OSHA fines Amtec Corp. for safety violations

Amtec Corporation, a contractor at the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command has been cited for safety violations that resulted in an explosion killing two of their employees.

Earlier this year, in May, two workers suffered third degree burns in an explosion that was caused due to n-Butanol and ammonium perchlorate. The workers were trying to purify ammonium perchlorate by separating it from a mixture containing n-Butanol. During this process, an explosion occurred killing both the workers.

OSHA's area director, Roberto Sanchez, said, “Management knew the hazards associated with ammonium perchlorate recovery and failed to ensure the proper equipment was being used, while also allowing the workers to process the material in excess of 10 times the amount of explosives according to the Army's standard operating procedures”.

OSHA has cited the corporation with two willful violations for exposing their employees to explosive hazards and fire and also not testing the suitability of the equipment that was used to purify ammonium chlorate. A willful violation as defined by OSHA is the one committed with indifference or complete disregard for the health and safety of the employees.

Amtec has been slapped with a heavy fine of $134,400 by OSHA. The company has been granted 15 business days to comply with the proposed penalties.