OSHA has levied $149,850 in fines following three fatalities and eight injuries caused by May 25, 2000, fire and explosion at the #3 Ammonia Unit operated by CF Industries Inc., Donaldsonville, LA. CF Industries has agreed to pay the penalties and will not contest 14 alleged safety and health violations cited by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, in association with the incident.

Following its investigation, OSHA issued two unclassified citations. The first was for failing to have inspection procedures specific to mole-sieve vessels; the second was for failing to ensure that specific vessel repair procedures for 109D-C mole-sieve vessels were in place. Additionally, OSHA found the company failed to ensure that the 109D-C vessel was inspected according to recognized and generally acceptable engineering practices. OSHA also issued 12 serious citations to CF Industries related to process safety management, confined space entry and personal protective equipment.

OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.