AERT to Pay $44K Fine In Fatal Fire

by Marty Cook  on Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 10:43 am  

Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. of Springdale has agreed to pay fines of $44,000 for violations related to a fatal fire in July.

A worker was killed at the AERT Springdale facility on July 17. A week after the Springdale fire, there was an explosion in a company silo in Lowell, and the silo was later dismantled.

An investigation completed in January by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration found two serious violations and one repeat violation. AERT was cited for failure to provide a workplace free of fire hazards and failure to monitor if fire hazards were present.

More: Download the OSHA citation and penalty notification document (PDF).

The repeat violation for was having equipment or wiring in hazardous locations. OSHA had previously cited AERT for that violation in 2009.

OSHA initially proposed penalties of $51,000, including $38,500 for the repeat violation.

AERT did not dispute the findings but negotiated with OSHA to reduce the amount of fines in mid-February. AERT agreed to pay $7,000 for the two serious violations and $37,000 for the repeat violation.



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