Feds Cite Wisconsin Plant for Fatal Explosion; Propose $127K in Fines

April 21, 2010

Federal investigators have cited a Columbus, Wis., packing plant with nearly 30 health and safety violations following a fatal explosion.

Fire officials have said sparks from a grinder ignited vapors set at the American Packaging Corp. in October. The grinder’s operator, 47-year-old Jeffrey Doxtator, was killed in the ensuing explosion.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an inspection after the explosion. The agency announced it has cited the company with 26 serious health violations and three serious safety violations, including failure to provide safe work procedures in a confined space and failure to take proper precautions against igniting vapors.

The company faces $127,350 in proposed penalties. Company Vice President of Operations Dennis Couture says the company will contest the citations.

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