The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined CF Industries and High Pressure Transports after finishing its investigation into a Nov. 16 accident at the CF Industries semi loading terminal in Rosemount that led to the death of two truck drivers.
High Pressure Transports paid a $25,000 fine and CF Industries $1,400 for their roles in the accident.
According to the citation, which was issued May 5, High Pressure received the fine for not providing effective training in the transfer and handling of anhydrous ammonia to Robert Larry Shue, 31, of Kingfisher, Okla. and Roy Thomas Taylor, 56, of Moore, Okla. Both men were killed when they were exposed to the gas after experiencing a connection problem when loading their trucks at the CF Industries Pine Bend terminal. A CF employee saw the incident and immediately shut down the terminal.
Shue died on the scene. Taylor died several days later at Region's Hospital.
Anhydrous ammonia is used as nitrogen fertilizer. When released into the air, it becomes a gas, causing severe burns and making breathing difficult.
CF was fined for not inspecting its five-minute escape respirators at least monthly. According to the citation that was issued May 5 the respirators, which are used for emergencies such as the November accident, were not inspected in November or December 2009.
Both companies paid the fines without contesting them.
CF Industries is one of the largest fertilizer producers in the North America. The company has facilities all over North America including the rural Rosemount location at 13040 Pine Bend Trail. The plant is located East of Rosemount in a rural part of the city.
The Pine Bend Ammonia Terminal, as it is known, receives ammonia via barge on the Mississippi River and rail on the Union Pacific line. It ships ammonia to customers by truck, according to the company's web site.
According to OSHA's records CF Industries had no prior safety violations in the past five years.