Crane Cited For 36 Safety Violations After Explosion

The Department of Labor's safety administration says 34 of the violations could have caused death or serious physical harm.

pyrotechnic

Photo: Crane Army Ammunition Activity

A Crane Army Ammunition Activity employee works in the pyrotechnic building. An explosion occurred in two dust collectors in that building earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s health and safety arm is citing Crane Army Ammunition Activity for 36 safety violations after an explosion occurred there in March.

No one was seriously injured in the explosion, but the report classifies 34 of the safety violations as serious, meaning they could have resulted in death or physical harm.

Violations included not doing routine inspections to make sure safety equipment was available and not training workers on safety procedures.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity Spokesman Tom Peske says the reason the division wasn’t following the safety standards is that it was following Army standards, and those don’t align with the standards set by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA.

“In the areas that we are not in compliance, we will make improvements,” he says. “There are many gray areas to the standards and how they will apply to the process. And those are the issues that need to be resolved.”

Peske says he doesn’t know how long that will take but says Crane officials have been working with OSHA since the explosion and they have already improved safety measures.

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen calls the number of violations “excessive” but says he expects Crane to come into compliance quickly.

Crane has 15 days to meet with an OSHA official.

“They’ll come up to an agreement as to when and how quickly they are capable of abating all the issues, so they will come into compliance or they will be cited again,” Allen says.

But OSHA can’t fine Crane like it does when private companies violate safety measures because Crane is a federal agency.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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