New Hampshire Gunpowder Plant Owner Sentenced in Death of Two Workers
Cited for 50 safety violations in 2010
The owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder plant, Craig Sanborn, was sentenced on Nov. 27 by a superior court judge to five to 10 years on two counts of manslaughter, to be served consecutively, for a total of 10 to 20 years, and assessed fines of $10,000, following the 2010 death of two of his workers.
Jesse Kennett and Don Kendall had been on the job only a month when they died May 14, 2010, in an explosion at Black Mag LLC’s facility in Colebrook, New Hampshire, where they were manufacturing a gunpowder substitute.
“The disregard for safety cost two workers their lives, and this jury agreed that Craig Sanborn’s actions were criminal,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Sanborn recklessly ignored basic safety measures that would have protected their lives. His criminal conviction and sentence won’t bring these men back to life, but it will keep him from putting workers’ lives in peril. And it should drive home to employers this message: Worker safety can never be sacrificed for the benefit of production, and workers’ lives are not: and must never be: considered part of the cost of doing business.”
In October 2010, OSHA cited Sanborn for more than 50 willful, egregious, and serious violations of safety standards in connection with the explosion: including failure to provide employees with training and personal protective equipment, and failure to implement essential controls to protect workers at the facility.
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