A Wisconsin milling company will have to pay $1.8 million in penalties after an explosion earlier this year killed five employees and injured more than 12 other workers. Didion Milling Inc. reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Joint Notification of Full Settlement was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC). In addition to the penalties, the milling company has agreed to make health and safety upgrades at its facility in Cambria. These safety improvements include implementing a corporate-wide safety and health management system, training employees on new safety policies, providing resources to mitigate the risks from combustible dust, and regularly meeting with OSHA professionals.
In a recent quote, OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan said, “Didion Milling’s agreement to make extensive safety improvements and work with OSHA and industry experts to protect the mill’s workers will protect the safety and lives of their current and future employees. OSHA will hold Didion leadership accountable for changing the corporate culture to focus on safety and health by working with experts, and with management and workers. Together, they can develop and continually test safety measures and emergency response procedures and train employees in hazard recognition. The five workers who lost their lives and those injured in this preventable tragedy must never be forgotten.”