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Years before fire, Winston Weaver Company was fined thousands for OSHA violations

Weaver Company
Screenshot courtesy of the City of Winston-Salem
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The fire at the Winston Weaver Company fertilizer plant prompted the evacuation of about 6,500 people.

Years before a fire at the Winston-Weaver Fertilizer Plant prompted a mass evacuation, the company was fined thousands of dollars by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Records show OSHA fined the company $25,000 in 2007 after an employee was fatally electrocuted by a 120-volt cord.

Six years later in May 2013, the agency found 16 violations during a planned inspection at the plant. Thirteen of those were classified as serious.

The inspection report reveals the company was cited for violating several of the agency’s standards, including those related to wiring methods, machine requirements, and the control of hazardous energy.

The plant was initially penalized with fines totaling $14,000. In the end, they ended up settling with the agency for $9,100.

The company was cited again in September 2013 when an employee fell 15 feet from the building’s roof and spent two weeks in an intensive care unit. The incident prompted a $3,800 fine.

Another OSHA investigation related to the Winston Weaver Company was opened Feb. 1, the day after the fire started.

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