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OSHA cites Omaha feed company for fatal plant collapse

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International Nutrition Plant Collapse
Photo by AP Photo The International Nutrition plant in Omaha, Nebraska, damaged after a blast caused much of the manufacturing plant to collapse, leaving workers buried in debris and others scrambling for their lives. Two of the 38 workers who were at the International Nutrition plant on Monday morning died and 10 were hospitalized with significant injuries, authorities said.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited an Omaha, Nebraska-based livestock feed manufacturer for multiple federal safety and health violations following a deadly partial collapse at its processing plant in January.

Two workers were killed and nine more were injured at the International Nutrition Inc. plant in Omaha on Jan. 20, when the steel truss supporting several storage bins on the plant's roof gave way, causing the bins to overturn and plunge through three floors at the center of the plant.

A six-month investigation of the plant ending on June 12 revealed that the bins had been overloaded with limestone, which ultimately caused the support truss to fail, OSHA officials said in a statement released on Monday.

“International Nutrition's decision to overload these bins directly led to the deaths of these two workers and the injuries sustained by nine other employees,” Assistant Labor Secretary David Michaels said in the agency's statement. “Families lost loved ones because International Nutrition did not follow the basic safety procedures that would have prevented this senseless loss of life.”

OSHA investigators cited International Nutrition for willfully exposing its workers to injury by overloading the bins, as well as failing to mitigate or provide training for safe operations in the presence of other worksite hazards including compressed air, combustible dust and confined spaces. The agency has proposed total fines of $120,560, and placed Industrial Nutrition in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

International Nutrition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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