Ill. company fined after fatal factory explosion


Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 23 at 9:07 AM

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago company that makes automotive technology has been fined $26,000 for safety violations uncovered after an explosion killed one worker and injured 17 other people.

The explosion last May at Arens Controls in Arlington Heights killed 55-year-old Neil Nicholson.

An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found five violations.

Agency spokesman Scott Allen tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald ( ) the company has corrected the problems and paid the fine.

The company makes electronic controls for commercial and hybrid vehicles.

CEO Ken Kunin did not respond to requests for comment.

Nicholson was killed while working on a test of hydrogen-on-demand technology, which improves fuel economy.

The federal agency's report said an electrical charge may have been what ignited hydrogen gas in the area of the test.


Information from: Daily Herald,