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Columbia County Corn Mill Explosion And Trump’s America

June 2, 2017

A Wisconsin corn mill exploded in a mighty blast late Wednesday night in Columbia County.  The milling plant in Cambria was reprimanded by federal safety inspectors six years ago for not taking precautions against dust explosions.  Folks in rural areas know that these types of dust concerns constitute a major hazard in handling grain.  It was also noted that firefighters had responded to a fire at the facility two days before this week’s blast.

This is a real tragedy as lives were lost and others faced serious injuries with loss of limbs.  The fact the Didion Milling Plant is only about 40 miles northeast of Madison means that a large city is hearing the details of this blast and the recursions on a small town.  There is no way not to feel the hurt that is registered on the faces of townspeople as they speak about the event.

The reason this matters in a larger context than just this explosion is due to the moves from the Trump Administration either taken or those proposed to be taken that weakens and removes needed regulations in the work place.

This company faced fines from OSHA in 2011 for failing to install equipment to protect workers from dust that can ignite and explode.

An OSHA inspection report said Didion didn’t keep its corn processing facility “free from recognized hazards that caused or were likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Employees were exposed to the hazards associated with dust explosion, deflagration or other fire hazards.”

Six filters set up to collect dust in the facility weren’t equipped with explosion protective systems and conveyor equipment wasn’t properly bonded to ducts that are used to control particulate matter, inspectors said then.

Trump promised on March 27 to “remove every job-killing regulation we can find,”   He insists that more regulation-cutting bills are on the way.

However, with this tragic and deadly blast in Colombia County we can see the necessity of having strict government regulations in place to prevent harm to workers.  These regulations, and the ones who provide over-sight and demand accountability from business owners, should not and must not be removed or downgraded for purely partisan purposes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Walt permalink
    June 3, 2017 5:33 AM

    I wonder what state regulations have been loosened or removed that may have helped prevent this tragedy?

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