By James L. Curtis

In the wake of the unfortunate fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas last week, the approximately forty other fertilizer plants and approximately 6,000 other facilities that store and mix fertilizer across the nation should brace themselves for greater OSHA and EPA oversight and significant penalties for even minor infractions, totally unrelated to explosion hazards. 

The federal government, primarily OSHA and EPA, are getting hammered for what the media and politicians are calling lax oversight of highly hazardous operations.  In response, the other employers in their industry should expect to be painted with a  very broad brush due to the tragedy. 

These employers should expect unannounced inspections and take steps now to ensure that their safety policies and training are bullet proof.  Time and money spent today ensuring strict compliance with the regulations is excellent insurance against the significant fines and lost man hours that will occur if you are unprepared when OSHA and EPA come calling.