A plant in St. Augustine is facing serious penalties following two explosions in just four months.
OSHA has recommended $91,000 in penalties against Indianhead Biomass Services relating to the most recent explosion- which happened at the end of July. OSHA also issued eight safety citations for that incident, which left two workers severely burned.
OSHA says the men were trying to shut down a sawdust dryer in order to unclog an outlet vent when smoldering embers in the dryer ignited. The workers had been recently assigned to the dryer, having previously worked with concrete.
The first explosion at the plant was in March and involved two employees working on a wood gas heat exchanger. One worker is permanently disabled as a result and another was injured, according to OSHA. An inspection following that incident resulted in two willful violations and seven serious violations.
The citations relating to these explosions include failing to design and implement fire and explosion protective measures, not developing and implementing a hazard communication plan, not providing appropriate situational training and others.
The company has 15 days to respond to the proposed citations and penalties.