U.S. Dept of Labor – OSHA – Guidance on the Ammonium Nitrate Storage Requirements in 29 CFR 1910.109(i)

By | August 10, 2017

On October 9, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the Adair Grain Company (dba West Fertilizer Company) following the April 17, 2013, explosion that killed 15.  The citations included violations related to hazards associated with improper storage of ammonium nitrate under 29 CFR 1910.109(i).  This memorandum provides investigatory and citation guidance to OSHA enforcement personnel on particular elements of 1910.109(i).

OSHA promulgated 1910.109(i) by adopting the 1970 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Code for the Storage of Ammonium Nitrate (NFPA 490)1 pursuant to §6(a) of the Occupation Safety and Health Act of  1970 (OSH Act).   Although NFPA 490-1970 addresses numerous hazards associated with the storage of ammonium nitrate, some aspects of the standard, as codified in 1910.109(i), are not enforceable by OSHA as they contain requirements specific to an authority having jurisdiction¿typically a municipal or state code official.  These officials have authority for enforcing municipal building, fire, plumbing, and electrical codes as related to building occupancy permits.  OSHA, however, has no relevant permitting or approval authority unique to such municipal or state code officials.

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