OSHA Fines NDK Crystals $510K For Explosion

BELVEDERE, Ill. (AP) -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined NDK Crystals Inc. for violations that led to an explosion last year at a Belvedere plant that killed one.

OSHA on Thursday announced fines of $510,000 against NDK for failing to evaluate the building for a catastrophic event and failing to have an emergency evacuation program, among other violations. Synthetic crystals for computers are made at the plant.

Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels says NDK knowingly operated high pressure vessels even after being warned of the potential for a catastrophic failure due to material design and fabrication defects.

The December explosion of a high pressure vessel sent debris aloft that killed 63-year-old Indiana truck driver Ronald Greenfield of Chesterton, Ind.

NDK attorney Gary Vist says the company disagrees with OSHA's initial determinations, and will contest the citations.

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