The citations from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration came too late to help two employees killed last April at MagnaGro International, but they should prevent the local fertilizer manufacturer from returning to its previous unsafe operating practices or perhaps from reopening at all.
At the end of July, OSHA cited 11 violations that occurred the day of the double fatality accident. The agency assessed $73,000 in fines against the company and ordered that violations be remedied by Sept. 1.
That deadline was somewhat academic because MagnaGro already had been shut down for city code violations that city officials had tried for three years to resolve. In retrospect, that was far too long to wait, and city officials have indicated they will look for ways to enforce the city codes that affected MagnaGro in a more timely manner.
The city and OSHA can’t bring back the two men killed at MagnaGro in April, but they can take steps to try to prevent such tragedies in the future. MagnaGro shouldn’t be allowed to reopen its doors at the current location or anywhere else until all of the concerns cited by OSHA and the city have been fully addressed. If that’s just too hard for the MagnaGro owners, that’s just too bad. A company with such a checkered history that refuses to change its ways won’t be missed.